The injury-enforced absence of captain Shannon Houston was keenly felt as the Ireland Women finished 11th in the Brive leg of the FIRA/AER European Women's Sevens Grand Prix Series over the weekend.
Combined with their efforts in Moscow last week, it meant that the Jon Skurr-coached Ireland squad were ranked eighth of the 12 competing teams at the end of the European Grand Prix Series.
The girls in green entered the back-to-back legs hoping to book a place in the Women's Sevens World Series requalification event in September, but results proved hard to come by and it is France and the Netherlands who will strive for World Series promotion in three months' time.
France, the Brive winners, and the Dutch side advance as Russia - European champions courtesy of two runners-up finishes - and England are already core teams on the World Series circuit.
The final placings in the European Grand Prix Series were: 1. Russia, 2. France, 3. England, 4. Netherlands, 5. Spain, 6. Portugal, 7. Italy, 8. Ireland, 9. Wales, 10. Germany, 11. Belgium, 12. Sweden.
It leaves Ireland relying on a wildcard entry to further their ambitions, with Skurr explaining that 'we now have to wait to see who will get the wildcard places'.
Reflecting on the last two weeks of competition, the Irish coach said: "We are disappointed by the results in Brive and Moscow and finishing eighth overall was below our expected level of performance.
"That said, we always have to remember that a large chunk of the squad has only been playing rugby for six months and this was always going to be a tough ask.
"Losing Shannon (Houston), our captain and most experienced player, the day before the tournament was a big blow to the squad. But Nicole Cronin, who took over the captaincy, did a great job and had a good tournament."
Ireland ended a four-match losing run in Brive by beating Sweden 19-7 in the 11th/12th place play-off on Sunday. They overturned a 7-0 deficit with stand-in skipper Cronin (2), who played with a bandaged left hand, and Martina McCarthy scoring the tries.
Earlier in the day they lost their Bowl semi-final to Wales, going down 22-0 despite the best efforts of Claire Keohane, Laura Lee Walsh and McCarthy amongst others.
Carton House was a hive of activity on Tuesday as the Ireland Rugby World Cup squad was officially announced and the selected players trained ahead of next Saturday's final warm-up game against England.
Irish Rugby TV brings you a behind-the-scenes look at the Ireland v Wales GUINNESS Summer Series game at the Aviva Stadium. Paul O'Connell, who was playing his last ever home international, took to the pitch with his son Paddy after the 16-10 defeat.
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt names the team to play Wales in the GUINNESS Summer Series and answers questions on the selection, while scrum half Conor Murray talks about 'feeling fresh' ahead of his return to the side.
Ireland assistant coach Les Kiss updates the media on the progress of Andrew Trimble and Cian Healy, and says captain Paul O'Connell deserves 'a good send-off' in his final home international this weekend.
12 countries, 2 days, 7s heaven. The team captains were at the iconic Ha'penny Bridge in Dublin today to promote the Women's Sevens Dublin tournament in UCD this weekend. Check out www.irishrugby.ie/womens7sdublin for full details.
Ireland Women's internationals Nora Stapleton and Niamh Briggs talk to Irish Rugby TV about the IRFU's new Long Term Player Development Model for Women's rugby. For more on Women's LTPD, please visit www.irishrugby.ie/womensltpd.
The launch of the IRFU Long Term Player Development programme for Women's rugby is an important milestone in the game. Michael McGeehin of Coaching Ireland and Louis Magee, former IRFU President, speak about the programme.
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt announces the team to play Scotland in the GUINNESS Summer Series. He also answers questions about the selection and Chris Henry speaks about the players 'stepping up' and causing some headaches for the coaches.
Ireland kicking coach Richie Murphy gives an update on the current shape of the squad ahead of the Scotland game, while Jared Payne talks about putting his best foot forward in the battle for centre spots.