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Match Tracker: Ireland 14 Australia 18

Match Tracker: Ireland 14 Australia 18

Second half tries from Jean Lonergan and Tania Rosser saw Ireland almost come from behind to pinch seventh spot from Australia at the IRB Women’s World Cup.

…Ireland’s players in a jovial mood at the World Cup’s Opening Ceremony in Edmonton…

Second half tries from Jean Lonergan and Tania Rosser saw Ireland almost come from behind to pinch seventh spot from Australia at the IRB Women’s World Cup.

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2006 IRB WOMEN’S WORLD CUP: Saturday, September 16

IRELAND 14 AUSTRALIA 18, Ellerslie Rugby Park

Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Jean Lonergan, Tania Rosser; Cons: Grace Davitt 2

Australia: Tries: Trish Brown, Selena Worsley; Con: Alana Thomas; Pens: Thomas 2

Full-Time: The win was just beyond them but there will be plenty for the Irish players and management to draw on when they look back at Edmonton 2006. The Wallaroos hold on for an 18-14 victory. They did have most of the possession and territory, but the girls in green came back well in the final quarter and can hold their heads up high. Eighth place in the world…

78 mins: IRELAND TRY! Rosser gets in for a much-deserved try – Davitt did the ground work, sprinting up the right flank before linking with her centres. The pack set up the platform for Rosser to take the ball on, dash through a gap and cross the whitewash much to the delight of the Irish supporters. Davitt adds the extras from a difficult poisiton, but time is almost up – Ireland 14 Australia 18

68 mins: AUSTRALIA TRY! With underfoot conditions worsening in Edmonton, a kicking duel ensues until the Wallaroos spread the ball out to the right, stretching the Irish defence before captain and openside flanker Selena Worsley gobbles up a loose ball and steps inside the cover to touch down near the posts. Thomas misses the conversion, but this game looks out of Ireland’s reach now – Ireland 7 Australia 18

62 mins: AUSTRALIA PENALTY! The penalty count continues to hit Ireland. Diving in at a ruck allows Thomas to boot over from 25 metres out – Ireland 7 Australia 13

52 mins: IRELAND TRY! The Irish forwards are rewarded for persisting with some back-breaking drives. Replacement Lonergan gets over in the left corner, after a series of punishing mauls and rucks. Excellent effort from the pack with scrum half Rosser gelling things together. Another plus point – Davitt brilliant drifts the conversion in from the touchline to put Ireland within three points – Ireland 7 Australia 10

Second Half: Ireland restart with Belton’s kick taken in by Australian lock Alicia Frost. Plenty of ball in hand for the forwards to make use of, on both sides. Jean Lonergan is on for Yvonne Nolan as Ireland’s hooker

Half-Time: A very physical first half is brought to a close with the Wallaroos leading 10-0

38 mins: Ireland have some field position after a late tackle. Belton kicks to touch, Joy Neville wins the lineout but a thumping hit by Louise Burrows on Cantwell stops the Irish momentum

35 mins: AUSTRALIA TRY! Australia get in for the first try. Their pack’s pressure on the Irish scrum is a cause for concern and from a midfield ruck, 35 metres out, winger Trish Brown breaks for the left corner, beating two tacklers and then fending off Jeanette Feighery’s challenge to score. Thomas lands the difficult conversion from wide out on the left – Ireland 0 Australia 10

28 mins: A great feed by Belton puts Grace Davitt through a gap and Ireland are behind the Australian defensive line for the first time. Play is brought up to just over the Wallaroos’ ten-metre line. Scrum ball to Ireland

25 mins: The turnover is well into double figures at this stage with both sets of forwards guilty of losing control at the breakdown

23 mins: A Rebecca Anderson kick to the right corner looks to be bouncing just right for the Wallaroos but it spins over the Irish try line and Lynne Cantwell gets back well to touch it down

22 mins: A few phases for Ireland around midfield, Tania Rosser goes herself off the back of a ruck, but the Australian defence is water tight. Belton too tries her luck at an arcing run but Lisa Fiaola tackles her well

19 mins: From a close-in lineout, the Australian forwards trundle up towards the Irish line, but after a couple of phases, the ball is lost forward. Some good Irish defence there. Penalty to Ireland and referee Malcolm Changleng has brought it 10….no, 20 metres forward for backchat! Those Australians must have filthy mouths!

13 mins: Nuala Ni Chadhain returns an Australian kick with interest, running it back 20 metres

11 mins: AUSTRALIA PENALTY! Out-half McGann dinks over the penalty for an early Australian lead – Ireland 0 Australia 3

10 mins: The Irish get one-up by wheeling the Australian scrum but the Wallaroos bite back straight away, pushing the girls in green off their own put-in. Penalty to Australia, just inside the Irish 22

7 mins: Yvonne Nolan’s first lineout throw is bang on target – she finds Germaine Healy and prop Marie Barrett wheels in behind for the maul

6 mins: Plenty of ball for Australian scrum half Cheryl Soon to pepper her forwards with. The Wallaroos are attacking Ireland’s left flank and have been in the Irish 22 for a good five minutes now

4 mins: Belton is penalised for holding onto possession on the deck and Alana Thomas kicks the penalty to touch

2 mins: Break from the Australian full-back Tobie McGann. The Wallaroos have made an encouraging start, inviting their runners in at angles but the Irish defence is strong

1 minute: Australia start the game – Ireland control it and team captain Sarahjane Belton gets a good kick to touch

First Half: Kick-Off: It’s dull and damp in Edmonton as the teams take to the field at Ellerslie Rugby Park. There is a minute’s silence for two Canadian rugby players who were recently killed in a car crash. Rousing renditions of both anthems follow

Ireland: Nuala Ni Chadhain; Jeanette Feighery, Lynne Cantwell, Shannon Houston, Grace Davitt; Sarahjane Belton (capt), Tania Rosser; Fiona Coghlan, Yvonne Nolan, Marie Barrett, Caroline Mahon, Germaine Healy, Eimear O’Sullivan, Rachel Boyd, Joy Neville.

Replacements: Jean Lonergan, Laura Guest, Rosie Foley, Sinead Ryan, Louise Beamish, Amanda Greensmith, Suzanne Fleming.

Australia: Tobie McGann; Ruan Sims, Lisa Fiaola, Rebecca Anderson, Tricia Brown; Alana Thomas, Cheryl Soon; Lindsay Morgan, Silei Poluleuligaga, Louise Burrows, Alicia Frost, Chris Ross, Paige Butcher, Selena Worsley (capt), Tasileta Bethell.

Replacements: Se’ei Sau, Alexandra Hargreaves, Kate Porter, Kim Wilson, Iliseva Batibasaga, Rachelle Pirie, Kelli Donnelly.

Referee: Malcolm Changleng (Scotland)
Touch Judges: Debbie Innes (England), Rachel Boyland (Switzerland)