Ireland’s Women continued their Rugby Sevens development by winning the Plate final at the London Sevens over the weekend.
Ireland were in a tough pool against USA, Canada and Rugby World Cup Sevens hosts Russia on Saturday. There were no easy games as all eight participating sides have qualified for the World Cup.
Ireland opened their London campaign against a hugely experienced Canada side and a late Ashling Hutchings try was the only reward. Canada ran out 22-5 winners despite some excellent attacking play from Ireland.
Ireland ran up an early lead against the USA in the second game of the day with tries from Jeannette Feighery and Niamh Briggs – making her Sevens debut for Ireland in this tournament.
The Americans showed their ability in the second half and the Irish were disappointed not pick up a further score as the USA came back to win 17-14.
It was Russia next for Ireland and more disappoinment as they were well beaten 22-0 despite a gutsy showing.
That left Ireland fourth in the pool and facing a tough game against favourites and hosts England. England ran out 12-0 winners, putting Ireland into the Plate semi-final.
In a game where defence ruled Ireland edged the French 12-7 with two tries from Niamh Kavanagh.
The Plate final saw Ireland pitted against Spain. Tries from Hutchings and Lynne Cantwell saw the girls in green take a 12-0 lead at half-time.
Cantwell and Shannon Houston added scores after the break and Briggs’ conversions saw Ireland to a 26-0 victory in what was their best performance of the weekend.
All in all it was tough weekend but provided the Irish squad with further experience in what is their first season at this level. Adding another piece of silverware to the collection was a great way to end the tournament.