"They're really on the up," said former Ireland international Hannah Tyrrell of the Galwegians as she joined Jessica Woodlock to talk through the latest AIL results in the 2nd episode of the Her Sport Energia AIL show.
"Nicole Fowley's leading them really well, both with her boot and ball in hand... they didn't have the best season last year, they're coming out here to show they're still a really good rugby team."
The Galwegians' draw with Suttonians and their two earlier wins have put them second in the table, behind only Old Belvedere, although Tyrrell warns "they have a lot tougher fixtures coming down the line", with Railway Union and Blackrock having played one less game than the leading two teams and so have room to catch up.
Her Sport caught up with Old Belvedere's Alice O'Dowd on her thoughts on last season, which she called a "rebuilding and refocussing phase." She talked us through the team's intense pre-season training (confessing that one of the main reasons players are glad the season starts is that there's less running), and admitted her hopes for the season: "We want to have a crack at the top two teams...that's probably an evasive answer, isn't it? Everyone wants to win the AIL, don't they? That's why we're here."
Watch the latest episode of the Her Sport Energia AIL Show below!
Tyrrell talked us through the recent results, including the UL Bohemians tight victory over Wicklow, Old Belevedere's win over the Suttonians, and Ballincollig's disappointing defeats, saying that "The first thing they need to fix is their defence... if even they can keep the scoreline down, they'll be doing really well."
Her Sport also had a chance to talk to the Suttonians' Catherine Martin on the new format of the league, which she likes because the team will play the top four teams again after Christmas, when she hopes the team will be fully in its groove. She also reflects on the addition of new players to the team and "the gelling process of the team... There are so many girls who are really talented, I'm really looking forward to seeing how they fit in and how we start to play off each other."
Looking ahead to the next phase of the league, Tyrell tentatively predicts Suttonians will win over Cooke, Wicklow over Ballincollig, and Blackrock over the Galwegians (though perhaps closer than thought, especially given Meabh Deely's impressive performance.) "But", she reflects, "it's rugby, that's the beauty of sport, anything could happen."
To hear the full conversation, watch the interview here or on YouTube.
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