The stats probably go a long way to pinpointing the reasons behind Ireland’s two losses in the final stages of the 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup. Going into the final rounds Ireland had a core of 13 players who had been involved in the three pool games with three key players, Lynne Cantwell, Tania Rosser and Gill Bourke each totalling over 200 minutes on the pitch over 9 days including two particularly brutal games against the USA and, of course, New Zealand.

By the end of the tournament a core of 11 players had featured in all five matches with the front row of Fiona Coghlan, Gill Bourke and Ailis Rgan  all averaging over 60 minutes each on the pitch over the five games. In the end Bourke played a phenomenal 377 minute in total or 75 minutes per match! Next up was Tania Rosser who averaged 70 minutes per game, closely followed by Coghlan who averaged 69.

Tournament Play

Unfortunately injuries to experienced players such as Stacey Lea Kennedy, Amy Davis and Niamh Kavanagh pre World Cup, and the insistence of the IRFU to have particularly small senior squads and the lack of any sort of competition outside of the highly competitive Six Nations tournament left Ireland short of experienced replacements meaning the four key games featured largely the same players.

No slight on the squad players who stood in for the game against Kazakhstan but they have just not had the opportunity to gain the experience required to perform at the highest level. As it was four of the tiny squad of 26 featured in only that one game.

While the women’s club game has improved slightly over the last four years it still has a long way to go. Too few games and even fewer actual competitive fixtures leaves a huge gap between the club/provincial player and the international elite.

It is remarkable what such a small pool of players has achieved over he last two years, producing the two best runs in their history with seven straight wins in 2013/14, picking up the Grand Slam along the way and five straight wins in the build up to and participation in the World Cup pushing their 2 year win average up to unprecedented highs of 80% at the end of 2013 and 76% at the end of the World Cup though they should really get bonus ratings for that win against New Zealand!

2 year win average

New Zealand are the 16th opponent that Ireland have faced and are one of the few that Ireland has a 100% win ratio against 🙂 the others being Germany, Netherlands and South Africa. However Ireland’s all time win ratio is still only 38%, showing what a truly remarkable period of success we are now enjoying.

Last Five

The full list of Ireland Women’s Rugby Fixtures from 1993 to date is shown below.

Date Comp Opponents F A Location
Sun, 14 Feb 1993 Friendly Scotland 0 10 Away Raeburn Place, Edinburgh
Sun, 13 Feb 1994 Friendly Scotland 0 5 Home Ravenhill, Belfast
Fri, 15 Apr 1994 World Cup France 0 31 N/A West of Scotland RFC
Sun, 17 Apr 1994 World Cup USA 0 76 N/A Boroughmuir
Wed, 20 Apr 1994 World Cup Scotland 3 10 N/A Melrose
Sat, 23 Apr 1994 World Cup Japan 11 3 N/a Boroughmuir
Mon, 20 Feb 1995 Friendly Scotland 3 20 Away Myreside, Edinburgh
Fri, 3 Mar 1995 Friendly France 10 39 Home Dublin
Sun, 21 Jan 1996 Home Nations Scotland 0 21 Home Blackrock
Sun, 3 Mar 1996 Home Nations Wales 22 6 Home Old Belvedere RFC, Dublin
Sun, 17 Mar 1996 Home Nations England 8 12 Away Sunbury
Sun, 26 Jan 1997 Home Nations Wales 5 32 Away Bridgend
Sun, 9 Feb 1997 Home Nations England 0 32 Home Limerick
Sun, 23 Feb 1997 Home Nations Scotland 3 28 Away Pennypit, Edinburgh
Thu, 3 Apr 1997 FIRA Spain 0 27 N/A Nice, France
Fri, 4 Apr 1997 FIRA Italy 5 13 N/A Nice, France
Sun, 6 Apr 1997 FIRA Germany 16 0 N/A Nice, France
Sun, 9 Nov 1997 Friendly Germany 32 6 Away Hamburg
Sun, 8 Feb 1998 Home Nations Scotland 0 15 Home Old Belvedere RFC, Dublin
Sun, 22 Mar 1998 Home Nations Wales 10 27 Home Old Crescent RFC, Rosbrien
Sun, 5 Apr 1998 Home Nations England 8 62 Away Worcester
Sat, 2 May 1998 World Cup Australia 0 21 N/A Amsterdam
Tue, 5 May 1998 World Cup Kazakhstan 6 12 N/A Amsterdam
Sat, 9 May 1998 World Cup Netherlands 21 18 N/A Amsterdam
Tue, 12 May 1998 World Cup Italy 20 5 N/A Amsterdam
Fri, 15 May 1998 World Cup Kazakhstan 10 26 N/A Amsterdam
Sun, 7 Feb 1999 Five Nations France 0 24 Home Dublin
Sun, 28 Feb 1999 Five Nations Wales 0 26 Away Unknown
Sun, 7 Mar 1999 Five Nations England 0 56 Home Dublin
Wed, 31 Mar 1999 Five Nations Scotland 5 22 Away Inverleith, Edinburgh
Mon, 8 May 2000 FIRA France 14 41 N/A El Ejido, Spain
Wed, 10 May 2000 FIRA Kazakhstan 15 31 N/A Vera, Spain
Sat, 13 May 2000 FIRA Netherlands 19 12 N/A El Ejido, Spain
Sat, 3 Feb 2001 Friendly Spain 0 42 Away Madrid
Fri, 16 Feb 2001 Friendly France 0 53 Home Dublin
Sun, 6 May 2001 FIRA France 9 45 N/A Marquette les Lille, France
Sat, 12 May 2001 FIRA Italy 9 8 N/A Lille, France
Sun, 10 Jun 2001 FIRA Wales 10 15 N/A Lille, France
Sun, 3 Feb 2002 Six Nations Wales 5 13 Home Thomond Park, Limerick
Sun, 17 Feb 2002 Six Nations England 0 79 Away Worcester
Sat, 2 Mar 2002 Six Nations Scotland 0 13 Home Limerick
Mon, 25 Mar 2002 Six Nations Spain 6 8 Home Limerick
Fri, 5 Apr 2002 Six Nations France 0 46 Away Melun
Mon, 13 May 2002 World Cup Canada 0 57 N/A Barcelona
Fri, 17 May 2002 World Cup Samoa 0 22 N/A Barcelona
Mon, 20 May 2002 World Cup Germany 18 0 N/A Barcelona
Fri, 24 May 2002 World Cup Japan 0 18 N/A Barcelona
Sun, 16 Feb 2003 Six Nations Scotland 0 25 Away Netherdale, Galashields
Sun, 23 Feb 2003 Six Nations Spain 16 0 Away Madrid
Sun, 9 Mar 2003 Six Nations France 0 20 Home Limerick
Fri, 21 Mar 2003 Six Nations Wales 0 17 Away Cardiff Arms Park
Fri, 28 Mar 2003 Six Nations England 3 46 Home Thomond Park RFC, Limerick
Sun, 15 Feb 2004 Six Nations France 5 22 Away Savigny sur Orge, Paris
Sat, 21 Feb 2004 Six Nations Wales 13 14 Home Thomond Park, Limerick
Sat, 6 Mar 2004 Six Nations England 10 51 Away Twickenham, London
Sat, 20 Mar 2004 Six Nations Spain 7 8 Home Thomond Park, Limerick
Sat, 27 Mar 2004 Six Nations Scotland 0 17 Home Thomond Park, Limerick
Sat, 1 May 2004 FIRA Wales 7 24 N/A Toulouse, France
Wed, 5 May 2004 FIRA Italy 14 5 N/A Toulouse, France
Sat, 8 May 2004 FIRA Spain 20 12 N/A Toulouse, France
Sun, 24 Oct 2004 Friendly Netherlands 15 0 Away Amsterdam
Sun, 14 Nov 2004 Friendly Japan 55 0 Home Donnybrook, Dublin
Sat, 5 Feb 2005 Six Nations Spain 17 19 Away Campo Central, Madrid
Sat, 12 Feb 2005 Six Nations Scotland 5 15 Away Murrayfield
Sat, 26 Feb 2005 Six Nations England 0 32 Home St Mary’s College, Dublin
Sun, 13 Mar 2005 Six Nations France 0 34 Home Dublin
Fri, 18 Mar 2005 Six Nations Wales 11 6 Away Arms Park, Cardiff
Wed, 25 Jan 2006 Friendly USA 5 23 Home ?
Sat, 4 Feb 2006 Six Nations Spain 25 10 Home Donnybrook, Dublin
Fri, 10 Feb 2006 Six Nations France 0 32 Away Montauban, Toulouse
Sat, 25 Feb 2006 Six Nations Wales 7 14 Home Donnybrook, Dublin
Fri, 10 Mar 2006 Six Nations Scotland 0 9 Home Navan
Fri, 17 Mar 2006 Six Nations England 10 29 Away Old Albanians, St Albans
Sat, 29 Apr 2006 Friendly Canada 15 8 Home Galway
Thu, 31 Aug 2006 World Cup France 0 43 N/A St. Albert Rugby Park, St. Albert
Mon, 4 Sep 2006 World Cup USA 11 24 N/A Ellerslie Rugby Park, Edmonton
Fri, 8 Sep 2006 World Cup South Africa 37 0 N/A St. Albert Rugby Park, St. Albert
Tue, 12 Sep 2006 World Cup Scotland 10 11 N/A St. Albert Rugby Park, St. Albert
Sat, 16 Sep 2006 World Cup Australia 14 18 N/A Ellerslie Rugby Park, Edmonton
Sat, 3 Feb 2007 Six Nations Wales 5 10 Away Taffs Well RFC, Cardiff
Sat, 10 Feb 2007 Six Nations France 10 13 Home St Mary’s RFC, Dublin
Sun, 25 Feb 2007 Six Nations England 0 32 Home Thomond Park, Limerick
Sat, 10 Mar 2007 Six Nations Scotland 18 6 Away Meggetland, Edinburgh
Sat, 17 Mar 2007 Six Nations Italy 17 12 Away Tre Fontane, Rome
Fri, 1 Feb 2008 Six Nations Italy 19 0 Home St Mary’s RFC, Dublin
Sun, 10 Feb 2008 Six Nations France 17 26 Away St Gratien
Fri, 22 Feb 2008 Six Nations Scotland 13 3 Home St Mary’s RFC, Dublin
Fri, 7 Mar 2008 Six Nations Wales 10 19 Home St Mary’s RFC, Dublin
Sat, 15 Mar 2008 Six Nations England 7 17 Away London Irish
Sat, 17 May 2008 FIRA Spain 41 7 N/A Amsterdam
Tue, 20 May 2008 FIRA England 11 22 N/A Drachten, Netherlands
Sat, 24 May 2008 FIRA France 22 22 N/A Amsterdam
Fri, 6 Feb 2009 Six Nations France 7 5 Home Ashbourne
Sat, 14 Feb 2009 Six Nations Italy 35 17 Away Stadio M.Natali, Colleferro
Fri, 27 Feb 2009 Six Nations England 13 29 Home St Mary’s RFC, Dublin
Fri, 13 Mar 2009 Six Nations Scotland 23 0 Away Meggetland
Sat, 21 Mar 2009 Six Nations Wales 13 10 Away Taffs Well
Fri, 5 Feb 2010 Six Nations Italy 22 5 Home Ashbourne
Fri, 12 Feb 2010 Six Nations France 9 19 Away Stade des Allées, Blois, Loir-et-Cher
Sun, 28 Feb 2010 Six Nations England 5 22 Away Pillar Data Arena, Esher, Surrey
Fri, 12 Mar 2010 Six Nations Wales 18 3 Home Ashbourne
Fri, 19 Mar 2010 Six Nations Scotland 15 3 Home Ashbourne
Fri, 20 Aug 2010 World Cup England 0 27 N/A Surrey Sports Park, Guildford
Tue, 24 Aug 2010 World Cup USA 22 12 N/A Surrey Sports Park, Guildford
Sat, 28 Aug 2010 World Cup Kazakhstan 37 3 N/A Surrey Sports Park, Guildford
Wed, 1 Sep 2010 World Cup USA 3 40 N/A Surrey Sports Park, Guildford
Sun, 5 Sep 2010 World Cup Scotland 32 8 N/A Surrey Sports Park, Guildford
Sun, 6 Feb 2011 Six Nations Italy 26 5 Away Rovigo
Fri, 11 Feb 2011 Six Nations France 12 14 Home Ashbourne
Sat, 26 Feb 2011 Six Nations Scotland 22 5 Away Lasswade
Sun, 13 Mar 2011 Six Nations Wales 14 15 Away Cross Keys RFC
Fri, 18 Mar 2011 Six Nations England 14 15 Home Ashbourne
Sat, 11 Feb 2012 Six Nations France 7 8 Away Stade de Hameau, Pau
Fri, 24 Feb 2012 Six Nations Italy 40 10 Home Ashbourne RFC
Sat, 3 Mar 2012 Six Nations Wales 36 0 Home Ashbourne RFC
Fri, 9 Mar 2012 Six Nations Scotland 20 0 Home Ashbourne RFC
Sat, 17 Mar 2012 Six Nations England 6 23 Away Esher RFC
Sun, 3 Feb 2013 Six Nations Wales 12 10 Away Aberavon
Sat, 9 Feb 2013 Six Nations England 25 0 Home Ashbourne RFC
Sat, 23 Feb 2013 Six Nations Scotland 30 3 Away Lasswade
Fri, 8 Mar 2013 Six Nations France 15 10 Home Ashbourne RFC
Sun, 17 Mar 2013 Six Nations Italy 6 3 Away Parabiago, Milan
Fri, 31 Jan 2014 Six Nations Scotland 59 0 Home Ashbourne RFC
Fri, 7 Feb 2014 Six Nations Wales 18 6 Home Ashbourne RFC
Sat, 22 Feb 2014 Six Nations England 10 17 Away Twickenham, London
Sat, 8 Mar 2014 Six Nations Italy 39 0 Home Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Fri, 14 Mar 2014 Six Nations France 15 19 Away Stade du Hameau, Pau
Sat, 5 Jul 2014 Friendly Spain 36 20 Away Valladolid, Spain
Sun, 20 Jul 2014 Friendly Wales 27 7 Home Malahide RFC
Fri, 1 Aug 2014 World Cup USA 23 17 N/A Marcoussis, France
Tue, 5 Aug 2014 World Cup New Zealand 17 14 N/A Marcoussis, France
Sat, 9 Aug 2014 World Cup Kazakhstan 40 5 N/A Marcoussis, France
Wed, 13 Aug 2014 World Cup England 7 40 N/A Stade Jean Bouin, Paris, France
Sun, 17 Aug 2014 World Cup France 18 25 N/A Stade Jean Bouin, Paris, France

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