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Ireland Women Secure Plate Title In China

Ireland Women Secure Plate Title In China

The Ireland Women marked their debut at an IRB Women’s Sevens World Series event by winning the Plate final in Guangzhou, China today, claiming the scalps of Australia and the Netherlands along the way.

The talented Irish squad, coached by Jon Skurr and with eight Grand Slam winners on board, picked up their second piece of Sevens silverware in the space of a week on the back of their Bowl final win in Hong Kong.

Today’s play-offs in Guangzhou saw Ireland taking on three of the most established Women’s Sevens teams in the world, and the Claire Molloy-captained side managed to beat two of them.

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New Zealand, the eventual Cup champions, proved too hot to handle in the opening Cup quarter-final despite a strong start and some incisive early running from the girls in green.

Alison Miller gave Ireland a 5-0 lead with her fourth try of the tournament, but New Zealand answered back in impressive fashion with five tries, including a hat-trick from Kayla McAlister, as they posted a 31-5 victory.

It was a flattering final scoreline as Ireland had enjoyed good spells during the game, however it meant that Molloy and her team-mates had to quickly pick themselves up for the Bowl competition.

Given that Australia are in Ireland’s Rugby World Cup Sevens pool and the sides also met yesterday, there was plenty of interest in their Bowl semi-final meeting.

Skurr’s charges were out for revenge after going down 12-7 in a tight tussle in the pool stages yesterday and there was very little between the teams in their second clash in Guangzhou.

Jeannette Feighery, who captained Ireland in Hong Kong, struck for a try in response to an early Ellia Green effort as the Australians led 7-5 at half-time.

Maintaining a high standard of passing and attacking, the Irish broke through for their second try when Miller exploited some space on the left wing and outsprinted the cover with Claire Keohane adding the conversion.

Keohane drop-kicked a late penalty which proved vital in the end as Cobie-Jane Morgan grabbed a converted try in the final seconds for the Australians.

But Ireland took the verdict on a 15-14 scoreline to give themselves a real boost having got one over on the reigning Rugby World Cup Sevens champions.

The Plate final was an all-European affair as Ireland took on the Netherlands, a team that the girls in green lost twice to at last summer’s European Sevens event in Moscow.

The revenge mission got off to a satisfying start as the ever threatening Miller swept through for her sixth try in two days, with Keohane adding the extras for a 7-0 lead.

The Dutch had the better of play approaching half-time and an unconverted score from Pien Selbeck saw Ireland take a two-point buffer into the second period.

A terrific side-stepping run from Feighery produced an important seven-pointer as Ireland reasserted themselves, only for Annemarije van Rossum to break a tackle and touch down at the other end.

The conversion was missed though and with both sides tiring, Ireland hung on determinedly for a 14-10 success.

Ireland’s third victory in six matches in Guangzhou confirmed them as Plate champions and fifth overall of the 12 competing teams.

The last two weeks of Sevens action gives the Irish management and squad plenty to build on ahead of the Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament in Moscow in June.

IRELAND WOMEN’S SEVENS Squad (2013 Guangzhou Sevens, Saturday, March 30-Sunday, March 31):

Christine Arthurs (Tralee/Connacht)
Ashleigh Baxter (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster) *
Lynne Cantwell (Richmond/Exile) *
Amy Davis (Blackrock College/Ulster) *
Jeannette Feighery (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Ashling Hutchings (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Niamh Kavanagh (UL Bohemians/Munster) *
Claire Keohane (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Alison Miller (Portlaoise/Connacht) *
Claire Molloy (Bristol/Exile) (capt) *
Jenny Murphy (Old Belvedere/Leinster) *
Sophie Spence (Mowden Sharks/Exile) *

* Players involved in RBS 6 Nations Championship

Ireland Results at Guangzhou Sevens –

Saturday – Pool B

Canada 33 Ireland 5, Guangzhou University Town Stadium

Ireland Scorers: Try: Lynne Cantwell

IRELAND: Jenny Murphy, Claire Molloy (capt), Sophie Spence, Jeannette Feighery, Claire Keohane, Lynne Cantwell, Alison Miller.

Subs: Christine Arthurs, Amy Davis, Ashleigh Baxter, Niamh Kavanagh, Ashling Hutchings.

Australia 12 Ireland 7, Guangzhou University Town Stadium

Ireland Scorers: Try: Jenny Murphy; Con: Claire Keohane

IRELAND: Jenny Murphy, Claire Molloy (capt), Jeannette Feighery, Lynne Cantwell, Alison Miller, Ashleigh Baxter, Niamh Kavanagh.

Subs: Sophie Spence, Claire Keohane, Christine Arthurs, Amy Davis, Ashling Hutchings.

Japan 0 Ireland 33, Guangzhou University Town Stadium

Ireland Scorers: Tries: Alison Miller 3, Jenny Murphy, Claire Molloy; Cons: Claire Keohane 4

IRELAND: Jenny Murphy, Claire Molloy (capt), Sophie Spence, Jeannette Feighery, Claire Keohane, Lynne Cantwell, Alison Miller.

Subs: Christine Arthurs, Amy Davis, Ashleigh Baxter, Niamh Kavanagh, Ashling Hutchings.

IRB VIDEO: GUANGZHOU DAY 1 HIGHLIGHTS

Sunday – Play-Offs

Cup Quarter-Final: Ireland 5 New Zealand 31, Guangzhou University Town Stadium

Ireland Scorers: Try: Alison Miller

IRELAND: Jenny Murphy, Claire Molloy (capt), Sophie Spence, Jeannette Feighery, Claire Keohane, Lynne Cantwell, Alison Miller.

Subs: Christine Arthurs, Amy Davis, Ashleigh Baxter, Niamh Kavanagh, Ashling Hutchings.

Plate Semi-Final: Ireland 15 Australia 14, Guangzhou University Town Stadium

Ireland Scorers: Tries: Jeannette Feighery, Alison Miller; Con: Claire Keohane; Pen: Claire Keohane

IRELAND: Jenny Murphy, Claire Molloy (capt), Sophie Spence, Jeannette Feighery, Claire Keohane, Lynne Cantwell, Alison Miller.

Subs: Christine Arthurs, Amy Davis, Ashleigh Baxter, Niamh Kavanagh, Ashling Hutchings.

Plate Final: Netherlands 10 Ireland 14, Guangzhou University Town Stadium

Ireland Scorers: Tries: Alison Miller, Jeannette Feighery; Cons: Claire Keohane 2

IRELAND: Claire Molloy (capt), Sophie Spence, Jeannette Feighery, Claire Keohane, Lynne Cantwell, Alison Miller, Niamh Kavanagh.

Subs: Jenny Murphy, Christine Arthurs, Amy Davis, Ashleigh Baxter, Ashling Hutchings.

IRB VIDEO: PLATE FINAL IN FULL

IRB VIDEO: GUANGZHOU DAY 2 HIGHLIGHTS

Related Links –

2013 Guangzhou Sevens Website

Ireland Women At The Hong Kong Sevens

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