Ireland Women Sevens had a successful Day 1 on the Canadian leg of the World Rugby Women’s Seven’s Series, held in Langford, British Columbia.
Wins against Fiji and Spain saw Ireland record their best Day 1 performance in the World Series and the team now face France in the Cup Quarterfinals later this evening. Kick off 19:14 UK/IRE.
It looked as though it was going to be another long day as Ireland slipped to a fourteen point deficit in their opening match against Fiji. The Islanders have had the upper hand in recent encounters but a Louise Galvin inspired second half comeback saw Ireland edge the encounter 19 – 14. Galvin was first to cross midway through the second half. Katie Heffernan, on her debut, crossed late to level the game and Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe scored the winner in overtime. Lucy Mulhall and Kim Flood added a conversion each to give Ireland a five-point win.
With many of the teams chopping and changing their sides from previous tournaments, due to World Cup preparations, the competition was producing quite a few tighter matches and Ireland looked to be one of the sides reaping the benefits as they held Australis to a scoreless first half in their second pool match. Unfortunately for our girls, the Australian’s pace made the difference in the second half and the reigning champions ran in three converted tries to claim a 21 – 0 win.
Ireland’s chances of progression to the Cup Quarterfinals rested on the outcome of their final pool game against Spain. Ireland’s fitness came to the fore as did Railway Union’s Murphy Crowe who ran in a hat-trick of tries, all converted by Mulhall, to give Ireland a comfortable 21 – 0 win against a tiring Spain. The two wins giving Ireland their most successful day one in this series.
The win’s need to be backed up with a performance on Day 2 and while they are likely to struggle against a physical France they do have a chance of achieving a sixth place finish if they meet an out of sorts Russia in the next round.
IRELAND WOMEN’S SEVENS FIXTURES/RESULTS
FIJI 14 – 19 IRELAND
AUSTRALIA 21 – 0 IRELAND
IRELAND 21 – 0 SPAIN
IRELAND v FRANCE
KO 19:14, Sun 28 May 2017
IRELAND WOMEN’S SEVENS SQUAD
Ashleigh Baxter (Cooke/Ulster)
Chloe Blackmore (St. Mary’s/Munster)
Claire Keohane (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Stacey Flood (Railway Union/Leinster)
Kim Flood (Railway Union/Leinster)
Louise Galvin (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Katie Heffernan (Mullingar/Railway Union (dual status)/Leinster)
Anna McGann (UCD/Leinster)
Lucy Mulhall (Rathdrum/Leinster) (capt)
Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe (Railway Union/Munster)
Sene Naoupu (Aylesford Bulls)
Audrey O’Flynn (Ireland Sevens Programme)
Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere/Leinster)