There was no Day 2 bounce back for Ireland Women in this seasons final World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series held in Biarritz on Sunday.
Having failed to pick up a Pool win on Day 1, against Australia, Canada and Spain, Ireland dropped into the competition bottom four alongside England, Fiji and, invitational side, Scotland.
Ireland were up against England in the bottom four semi finals and a narrow 24 – 17 defeat left Ireland in the bottom place play off against, the Biarritz invitational side, Scotland who lost 31 – 10 to Fiji in their semi final.
Well it looks as though the Goose Gain is starting to hit Scottish Women’s rugby already as Scotland became the first invitational side to beat a core team this series following their 26 – 14 win against Ireland.
Ireland’s bottom place finish is their worst finish in the World Series since 2016, Round 2 in Sao Paulo.
The details of the two Ireland Women’s matches are shown below.
- CHALLENGE TROPHY SEMI FINAL: ENGLAND 24 - 17 IRELAND
England started the sharper and an early turnover ended with Flemming sliding through the Irish defence for the opening score, converted by Kildinne. However, Eve Higgins hit back for Ireland for an unconverted try to take the score to 7- 5.
Ireland worked hard in possession for the remainder of the half but it was all too predictable and a turnover saw Wilcock race clear to extend England’s lead to 12 – 5 at the break.
Fisher took advantage of Irish uncertainty at the start of the second half and, with Mason converting, the lead was extended to 19 – 5. Claire Boles crossed out wide after a sustained move from Ireland and, with Eve Higgins converting, it was back to a one score game at 19 – 12.
Unfortunately for Ireland, England were next up on the scoreboard with Quansah crossing to seal the game before Amee Leigh Murphy Crowe grabbed a late consolation score for Ireland.
TRY: Eve Higgins, Claire Boles, Amee Leigh Murphy Crowe. CON: Eve Higgins.
- 11TH PLACE PLAY-OFF: IRELAND 14 - 26 SCOTLAND
Ireland were slow out of the blocks once again and Scotland took advantage with a 1st minute try from Gaffney, converted by Nelson to take a 0 – 7 lead,
It took Ireland a bit of time to respond but they eventually broke clear for Megan Burns to cross and Eve Higgins to tie the game with the conversion.
However a lovely move from Scotland ended with Thompson scoring and Scotland taking a 7 – 12 lead into the break.
Scotland took control of the game in the second half with tries from Lloyd and Nelson, Nelson converting both to take their lead to 7 – 26. Amee Leigh Murphy Crowe made a late break to score a consolation try for Ireland, Hannah Tyrrell ending the game with the conversion.
TRY: Megan Burns, Amee Leigh Murphy Crowe. CON: Eve Higgins, Hannah Tyrrell
Ireland will have been disappointed to have finished the series on such a low note.
A lot of the good work at the start of the season, which culminated in a top four finish in Sydney, has been somewhat undone over the last two tournaments.
They have been unfortunate with injuries to key personnel and in particular the loss of Lucy Mulhall seems to have changed the dynamics from that of a team to one of a set of individuals.
The squad for Biarritz and their up to date stats are shown below.
Ireland Women Squad
|All Time Stats||2019 Stats|
|Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe||112||420||84||33||175||35|
|Deirbhile Nic A Bhaird||50||25||5||31||15||3|