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TV comments after Ireland Women's mauling branded 'condescending'

By Ian Cameron
Nichola Fryday breaks down in tears.

Irish television commentators have been accused of being condescending towards the Ireland Women’s team following their painful 53-3 loss to France at Musgrave Park this afternoon.


Despite France playing with 14 players for much of the contest, the women in green were outclassed in all departments, leading to widespread disappointment among Irish rugby fans.

The ugly scoreline comes just a week after a 31-5 hammering at the hands of Wales last weekend.

One of the Virgin Media commentators suggested that the Irish side should be proud of their defensive effort. This comment was met with anger from some viewers who felt that it was patronizing and failed to acknowledge the gulf in class between the two teams.

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“Attacking wise they probably weren’t clinical inside the 22,” remarked former Ireland international Fiona Hayes. “But defensively they should be proud of themselves. They stepped up their line speed and went after France.”

Twitter user Kevin Byrne tweeted in response to the remarks: “Sorry but I think it’s v condescending to talk about Irish players being proud after conceding nine tries at home to a team who were down a player for an hour. Really wish the VM panel would talk about the total lack of investment by Irish Rugby in the women’s team.”

The IRFU’s direct investment in the Women’s game has increased to €5.5 million per annum, up €2.1 million on previous budgets. That investment currently includes over 40 contracts across both the Irish Women’s Sevens and XVs programmes, although the €15,000 to €30,000 deals have been criticised as too little for players that are being asked to be based in the expensive Irish capital.

“This Irish team are being sent out by Irish Rugby to fail. We’ve gone from Grand Slam winners and World Cup semifinalists to barely even also-rans in the space of a decade. There’d be a much heavier inquiry into the system if the men finished even third in the 6N.”


The passion of the players involved can’t be questioned, evidenced by the Ireland captain Nichola Fryday breaking down in tears following the drubbing.

Fryday struggled to finish her post-match interview after welling up following a question about the performance that didn’t seem to improve despite a one-woman advantage.


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