Ireland notched up their first bonus point of the tournament with an ultimately convincing 40 – 5 win against Kazakhstan in the final pool match of the 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup.
The six try win in yesterday afternoon’s match in Marcoussis means that the Green Machine progresses to the World Cup Semi Finals for the first time in their history, the first Irish senior rugby side to do so.
The tries came from hooker come wing forward Sharon Lynch (2), out half Tania Rosser, wing forward Siobhan Fleming and wing Vikki McGinn, with a penalty try being awarded in the final quarter. Jackie Shiels had a good day with the boot, converting five.
As we’d predicted, with 10 changes to the starting line up from the win against New Zealand, Ireland struggled to find consistency in a scrappy first half.
An early converted try from Sharon Lynch, after a break from captain Lynne Cantwell, failed to settle the Irish nerves and, despite dominating territory and possession in the opening quarter Ireland failed to further trouble the scoreboard with Kazakhstan defending resolutely and a few Irish passes failing to go to hand.
|6||Try||Sharon Lynch||IRE||5 – 0|
|6||Con||Jackie Shiels||IRE||7 – 0|
|22||Try||Svetlana Karatygina||KAZ||7 – 5|
|36||Try||Tania Rosser||IRE||12 – 5|
|37||Con||Jackie Shiels||IRE||14 – 5|
|64||Try||Penalty Try||IRE||19 – 5|
|65||Con||Jackie Shiels||IRE||21 – 5|
|66||Try||Siobhan Fleming||IRE||26 – 5|
|70||Try||Sharon Lynch||IRE||31 – 5|
|70||Con||Jackie Shiels||IRE||33 – 5|
|80||Try||Vikki McGinn||IRE||38 – 5|
|80||Con||Jackie Shiels||IRE||40 – 5|
Kazakhstan took some confidence from their defensive display and at the start of the second quarter worked their way into the Ireland 22 for second row Svetlana Karatygina to go over after a series of thrusts at the Ireland line to take the score to 7 – 5.
Ireland continued to fumble and bumble and looked to be taking a narrow lead into the break until Tania Rosser broke from the midfield and outstripped the defence for Ireland’s second. Shiels again added the extras and it was a much relieved Ireland that trotted off to the changing rooms minutes later.
Ireland have failed to score in the third quarter in any match this tournament and the trend continued here prompting head coach Philip Doyle to call on the experienced trio of Fiona Coghlan, Ailis Egan and Claire Molloy, having earlier replaced Rosser with Nora Stapleton.
The experienced heads, with Molloy outstanding in the loose, were able to provide a limitless supply of ball against a visibly tiring Kazakhstan and Ireland proceed to notch up a further four tries in the final quarter.
The first was a penalty try and then Fleming and Lynch took turns to run in from distance after Ireland created space out wide with Shiels converting all three.
Vikki McGinn was on hand to score the final try out wide, as the clocked ticked into overtime, and Shiels capped a fine afternoon from the tee by knocking over the conversion from the touchline to bring up the 40 points.
The Front Row Union Player of the Match goes to two try hero Sharon Lynch who produced an exuberant display initially as wing forward and then as hooker – though she was pushed all the way by a delightful cameo from Claire Molloy. Lynch grabbed her chance with both hands and showed excellent support play to be on hand to finish off her two tries.
Ireland: Fiona Hayes, Gillian Bourke, Kerri Ann Craddock, Laura Guest, Orla Fitzsimons, Sharon Lynch, Siobhan Fleming, Paula Fitzpatrick, Larissa Muldoon, Tania Rosser, Hannah Casey, Grace Davitt, Lynne Cantwell, Vikki McGinn, Jackie Shiels. Replacements: Fiona Coghlan, Ailis Egan, Sophie Spence, Claire Molloy, Nora Stapleton, Alison Miller, Ashleigh Baxter.
Kazakhstan: Yelena Muradova, Yelena Yevdokimova, Olga Bakhtiguzina, Lyudmila Matiyeva, Svetlana Karatygina, Symbat Zhamankulova, Kundyzay Baktybayeva, Marianna Balashova, Amina Baratova, Svetlana Klyuchnikova, Lyudmila Sapronova, Balzhan Koishybayeva, Anna Yakovleva, Oxana Shadrina, Aigerym Daurembayeva. Replacements: Irina Radzevil, Yelena Rogacheva, Yelena Kiryushina, Karina Proskurina, Anastassiya Khamova, Aigul Dairbayeva, Olga Sazonova.
Match Pictures (C) Christelle Gelmet|IRB