The concluding game of the third round of the Women's Six Nations between Ireland and Wales at Donnybrook on Sunday bucked the trend of low-scoring encounters between the two sides, producing 47 points and seven tries and a 35-12 win for the home side.
And, once again, Claire Molloy led the way with a second consecutive player of the match award capped by two tries. Leah Lyons, Sene Naoupu and Hannah Tyrrell also got on the scoresheet with Niamh Briggs and Kim Flood converting all five tries between them.
Wales trailed 14-0 at half-time but battled gamely in the second half, scoring tries through Amy Evans and Sioned Harries.
The victory means Ireland trade places with Wales after improving their rating to 75.14 points, while the Welsh total has dropped to 74.33.
That still leaves Wales comfortably in front of Italy who were powerless to stop the French bandwagon from rolling on in Corsica.
Grand Slam bid
Les Bleues maintained their perfect record, and the pressure on Championship leaders England, with a third straight bonus-point victory.
Only points difference separates England from France (+15 to +3) and the match between the two sides at the Stade des Alpes in Grenoble on 10 March will surely decide the destiny of the 2018 title, unless it ends in a draw.
Cyrielle Banet and Marine Menager, the sister of World Rugby Women's Player of the Year 2017 nominee Romane, both grabbed a brace of tries apiece against the Azzurre, while full-back Jessy Tremouliere contributed 22 points to the 57-0 victory through a try, seven conversions and a penalty.
As with France, England did not pick up any rating points at the weekend despite coming out on top against Scotland at the Scotstoun Stadium, due to the large points differential between the sides in the rankings.
Danielle Waterman and Charlotte Pearce both scored two tries as England won 43-8 to keep their own Grand Slam ambitions on track.
It was also a fitting result for England prop Rochelle Clark as she earned her 135th international cap, taking her fourth behind Richie McCaw, Brian O'Driscoll and George Gregan in the all-time list.
For the second match running a record attendance was set for a home Scotland women’s international with 3,278 spectators braving a cold winter’s night in Glasgow.
Photo credit: Bryan Keane / Inpho
RWC 2019 Tickets
RWC 2019 Official Ticketing site NOW LIVE
Fans can now register interest to apply for Rugby World Cup 2019 tickets
Americas Rugby Championship 2018 - Round 5
CHILE v CANADA: 17-33
URUGUAY v USA: 19-61
BRAZIL v ARGENTINA XV: 8-28