Wales captain Siwan Lillicrap is adamant her side will turn a corner and get back to winning ways under new coach Warren Abrahams, but patience is going to be key in getting to that point.
A 45-0 reverse at home to Ireland made it back-to-back defeats for the Welsh side in this year’s Championship, having gone down 53-0 to France in their Round 1 encounter a week before.
Four early tries from the visitors made it an uphill battle from the start at Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday, although Wales regained their composure after the break to keep their opponents out for much of the second-half.
And Lillicrap – who remained on the field despite looking to be in excruciating pain for the last 20 minutes – is confident it is a matter of when, not if, things will turn around for the Welsh side – after Abrahams’ appointment as boss in November 2020.
“You never want to lose and you never want to put in a poor performance, but the reality is that we’ve got to be patient,” the Wales skipper said on the Nick and Mo 6 Nations show on Instagram.
“Warren is trying new things and it’s a completely new way we’re looking at training and playing, so it’s challenging us in different ways and challenging us as players to have a different way of thinking about things.
“We’ve had a lot of inconsistency over the last few years and the defeat hurts but we’ve got to reflect and keep trusting the process, and sticking with it to see where we can go with it.”
Early braces from Eimear Considine and Beibhinn Parsons saw Ireland wrap up the bonus-point with less than 20 minutes on the clock in Cardiff, before Sene Naoupu crossed to make it 31-0 at halftime.
But after the break it was a much different story, with the Welsh defence standing firm and keeping the Irish at bay until the closing stages, with Lillicrap just one of a number of players putting their bodies on the line in a red jersey.
Dorothy Wall and Hannah Tyrrell eventually crossed in the closing stages for the visitors, but it was a gallant effort from the hosts to keep them at bay after such a rip-roaring start.
Ever the proud Welshwoman, Lillicrap was keen to do her country proud after the break and will be looking for a response on Super Saturday on April 24th.
“At halftime it was about getting better, it wasn’t good enough and no one knows more about that than the players ourselves,” she said.
“It’s tough to get the balance right. I don’t like blaming people or having negativity, I’m about positive reinforcement and picking out what is going well.
“The talk at halftime was all about pride and putting a performance in, because when you’re representing something special you’ve got to take your opportunities and stop their momentum.
“There’s no one more disappointed than us right now.”