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Enya Breen continues to impress

May 17th, 2022 11:37 AM

By Ger McCarthy

Enya Breen continues to impress Image
Enya Breen in action for Ireland.

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Former Skibbereen and Bantry RFC player Enya Breen’s match-winning TikTok Six Nations try and conversion saw the Irish international write her name into the history books.

The closing minutes of Ireland’s Six Nations clash with Scotland at Kingspan Stadium in April were nerve-shredding to put it mildly.

Deep into stoppage time, following a titanic battle with the Scots, Ireland found themselves 14-8 behind and looking at the prospect of receiving the wooden spoon and finishing bottom of the table.

The Irish worked the ball deep into Scottish territory, remained patient and waited for an opening. Enya Breen seized her opportunity and crossed the line for a magnificent try.

Then, the inside-centre made the conversion to snatch a 15-14 victory from the jaws of defeat. Amid emotional after-match scenes, Breen and her team-mates danced in the rain and celebrated rising from bottom to third in the final TikTok Six Nations standings.

‘It was a weird 30 seconds after I scored that try,’ Breen told The Southern Star.

‘First things first, I was trying to make sure I had touched the ball down over the line. I hadn’t heard the referee’s whistle as everyone jumped on top of me!

‘Once that was looked after I just tried to enjoy the moment. Then, Hannah O’Connor and I gave each other a look. I don’t know, I just kind of steadied myself, took a few deep breaths and said, “this one’s on me. I’ve got this”. ‘Hannah backed me as well. I took 10 seconds to steady myself. Didn’t even think about the importance of the kick at all. It was just stick to the process, get through the ball, get a good strike on it. I knew if I looked after all that, the rest would look after itself.

As a youngster, Breen honed her rugby skills in the Carrigaline RFC minis before her family moved to Skibbereen. The local Skibb rugby club and Bantry RFC provided Breen with the platform to showcase her talent and it wasn’t long before Munster and Ireland came calling. A physiotherapy student at the University of Limerick, Breen made a name for herself in the Munster U18 and adult setups prior to making her senior Irish international debut in the 2019 Six Nations.

She hasn’t looked back since and is keen to build on her country’s latest morale-boosting victory. At the end of a turbulent campaign, the Ireland dressing room was a happy place immediately after full-time.

‘There was a special atmosphere in that dressing room,’ Breen admitted.

‘A lot of relief but a lot of happiness as well. It felt like a very long few weeks with the prep, build-up and then the tournament itself and for different reasons, things that happened on and off the pitch.

‘It took a full squad effort from week one to week seven. Girls got opportunities and took them. So we took that time together in the dressing room afterwards. I’d say we were all still sitting there in our gear a good hour and a half later.

‘We were just enjoying the moment. Just enjoying each other’s company. Yeah, it was a special time.’

Enya Breen received a well-earned rest following all the drama at Kingspan Stadium. The inside-centre will shortly be back in action however, and looking to add to her already impressive rugby CV.

‘I took a week off after the Scotland game before getting back into training straight away the following week,’ said Breen.

‘I am a contracted Irish Seven’s international player and will be involved in that over the next few weeks. The hard work never stops. We have a summer tour coming up with Ireland as well. I’m looking forward to that but enjoying the time off as well when I have it.’

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