Injured Wales Women star Sioned Harries saluted her teammates after the finished their Six Nations in style by hammering Ireland, 24-5.
Harries has been forced to sit out the whole tournament with an ankle injury, but had her spirits lifted by a hugely impressive Wales display that was rewarded with fourth place in the final championship table – their best finish since 2016.
The bonus point victory was built on rock solid defence, but Wales also showed they could cut loose as they claimed a four-try bonus point victory at Cardiff Arms Park with tries for Jess Kavanagh, Carys Phillips, Beth Lewis and Jasmine Joyce.
“It is frustrating being on the sidelines and watching the team and naturally, as a player, you want to be out there yourself,” said Harries.
“But I’m proud of the girls and chuffed for them. I’ve been there in every training session when I can and I’ve been there at the game. It’s just nice for me, as someone that’s seen all the time and effort that the girls have put in, to see them be able to express themselves and get what they deserve.
“What was great, really, was to see them score so many tries. I think everyone’s been commending us on our defence throughout the campaign and it was nice to see that we are able to attack as well.
“Our game against Scotland showed that the girls are able to go to that dark place and get a result but this time, with the scoreline what it was, it shows that we’re more than a defensive team and that we can attack.”
With two defeats and a draw to open the Championship, Wales ensured that they completed their 2019 campaign on a high, recording back-to-back victories as success over Ireland followed a dramatic 17-15 win over Scotland in round four.
Harries added: “This will be the end of the season for us internationally but looking forward, I think the two back-to-back wins will be good momentum for us.
“Winning becomes a habit, so hopefully it turns into one.”
It was the first time since 2011 that Wales had beaten the Irish in the Six Nations and it meant they leapfrogged them in the table. It was a victory built on magnificent defence, a ruthless scrum and pace on the wings.
Ireland dominated the game for long periods, yet couldn’t find a way to unlock the watertight Welsh defence. They simply got up off the floor, re-set and tackled again and again and again. It was magnificent.