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Women’s Sevens A Success In UCG

Women’s Sevens A Success In UCG

Under the auspices of the Connacht Branch and Women’s Rugby Development Officer Wendy Hickey, the inaugural Women’s Sevens tournament at UCG was a big success.

“The initiative is important for the development of the women’s game. We would see this as a finale for our clubs with a few interested teams coming from Wales, Scotland and England to enjoy the opportunity and meet fellow players in Ireland,” Hickey said.

Connacht Rugby hosted its first Women’s Invitational Sevens tournament last Saturday and the event was a major success with teams travelling from as far off as Kinsale in County Cork and Derby in the midlands of England.

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The showery weather of the mid-week made way for blistering sunshine and cool breezes and the conditions could not have been better for the abridged form of the game.

The whole event kicked off at high noon with the first of six pool matches between Kinsale and Derby ending in defeat for the Tigers and a classic win for development side Kinsale.

Next up were Galwegians and UCG, a riotous local derby which went the way of ‘Wegians as UCG struggled with playing numbers and had to draw on the reserves of the visiting English side.

The perfect playing conditions led to some fantastic open running rugby from all sides but at the end of the pool stage there were two clear leaders, Kinsale and Galwegians.

The play-off for the plate was a very tight affair between Derby and UCG with the Tigers beating the hosts by a single try to clinch the consolation silverware.

All eyes then turned to the final between the newcomers from Snugmore and the baby blue of Galwegians.

Under the watchful eyes of referee Mick Roach, both sides traded early tries but ‘Wegians, with Irish International Nuala Ni Chaidhain, proved too strong in the end and romped home 27-17 to claim the coveted title.

Kinsale will be buoyed by a very strong display throughout and the future looks bright for the Cork-based club.

All the teams joined up after for some food and refreshments in Busker Browne’s and plans were already being made for next year’s assault on the champions.

“We want to grow our club game and whilst the 15-a-side game is the standard area of development Sevens is an easy way to get new clubs off the ground,” Hickey added.

Martin Gallagher, the PDGM in Connacht Rugby, said: “The Irish Women’s Sevens team will take part in the inaugural Women’s Sevens World Cup scheduled for the 2009.

“This initiative of developing a Sevens tournament in Connacht is ideal. Kinsale is a wonderful event and it isn’t a stone’s throw from Galway if we have teams over for a week or so, and our own clubs will have the opportunity to play some exciting teams.

“The women’s game is going to continue to mature and we need to ensure that we have sustainable competitive environments for these young women to play in.

“Sevens is played in many countries and I see this as a perfect prospect for developing women’s rugby. I’d like to compliment Wendy Hickey (WRDO) and Luke Murphy (Projects Officer) for pulling this together.”

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