Donegal woman Nora Stapleton played a key role as the Ireland Women’s team scored a second bonus-point win in the Six Nations yesterday.

Nora Stapleton

The Irish defeated Italy 27-3 at the Stadio Tommaso Fattori in Rome. After defeating Scotland last week, the Girls in Green secured a second bonus point thanks to Stapleton’s quick-thinking with the last play of the game.

Ireland were awarded a penalty inside their own ’22 and Stapleton, rather than booting the ball for touch, cleverly punted across field, where it was picked up by Hannah Tyrrell, who ran all of 80-metres to get over for a try.

“When we got the penalty at the end, I was watching the clock, so I knew we couldn’t kick it out,” Stapleton, who hails from Fahan, said.

“Sometimes you just have to go with your gut – and that’s what I did. Eventually, I just gave the girls a roar, kicked it and Hannah took off with it. It showed that this group never gives up.”

Stapleton scored an early penalty for Ireland and landed conversions after Leah Lyons and Sophie Spence scored tries.

Stapleton said:“We have plenty to work on, but it’s nice to come away with the maximum points that we could have got.”