Despite the best efforts of Storm Ciara and opponents Wales, Ireland remain on course to emulate the Women's Six Nations Grand Slam of 2013 after backing up their first-round win over Scotland with a second victory of the Championship in Dublin.

Adam Griggs' side reeled off five tries, including a last-minute penalty try, to defeat higher-ranked Wales 31-12. 

While the victory lifted Ireland above Spain and into ninth position, they fell just one-hundredth of a point short of overhauling Wales in the World Rugby Women's Rankings.


After a quiet opening to the game, Beibhinn Parsons and Cliodhna Moloney scored their second tries in as many weeks and Lauren Delany also raced home to hand the home side a 17-5 lead at the interval.

Wales made light of Gwenllian Pyrs' sin-binning to get off the mark through Lauren Smyth, and their captain Siwan Lillicrap added a second-half try as conditions worsened, Robyn Wilkins' conversion cutting the deficit to 24-12.

After a brief stoppage because of the torrential rain, play continued but without any further score until the Irish pack was awarded a penalty try.

Banet inspires Les Bleues

Meanwhile, France increased their cushion over Italy to 6.7 rating points thanks to their 45-10 win over the Azzurre in Limoges, with the sides remaining in fourth and fifth position in the rankings respectively.

Avenging last year's 31-12 defeat in Padova, Les Bleues managed to run in five tries as well as scoring a penalty try to bounce back from their loss to England in the opening round.

Cyrielle Banet scored twice in the first half, including an 80-metre effort down the right touchline, with the rest of the tries coming from scrum-half Laure Sansus, second-row Audrey Forlani and flanker Julie Annery. Full-back Jessy Trémoulière kicked four conversions and a penalty and Pauline Bourdon chipped in with an additional two points from the tee.

All of Italy's points came in the first half from a Sara Barattin intercept try and the boot of Michela Sillari.

Scotland's match against England was postponed until Monday because of adverse weather conditions in Glasgow and as such will count towards next week's rankings.

Photo: INPHO / Dan Sheridan