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Plate Success For Ireland Women In Brive

Plate Success For Ireland Women In Brive

The Ireland Women’s Sevens squad picked up another trophy on Sunday when they were crowned Plate champions at the first leg of the FIRA-AER European Sevens Grand Prix Series in Brive, France.

The first leg of the European Women’s Sevens Series saw Jon Skurr’s Ireland side overcome the Netherlands 12-7 in the Plate final, finishing fifth overall of the 12 competing nations.

It is another piece of silverware to add to the Plate titles from the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series event in Guangzhou, China and the recent London Invitational Sevens, along with the Bowl they collected in Hong Kong back in March.

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More importantly, the trip to France gave the girls in green further game-time together – seven matches in total across two days – as they build towards the Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament in Moscow at the end of the month.

Sevens newcomers Niamh Briggs and Shannon Houston were among Ireland’s leading lights in Brive, with Briggs top-scoring with 34 points (4 tries and 7 conversions) and Houston (4 tries), Lynne Cantwell (5) and captain Claire Molloy (3) all showing well in the try-scoring stakes.

A couple of missed conversions cost Ireland in their opening Pool B match against Spain on Saturday. Despite Briggs opening the scoring with a try and Molloy also crossing the whitewash late on, the Spanish prevailed on a 14-10 scoreline.

Skurr’s charges opened their win account in their next outing, breaking clear of the Ukraine in the second half for a 17-7 victory. It was a tough encounter as Ireland had Jeannette Feighery yellow carded before half-time, but the girls in green knuckled down and successive tries from Jennifer Murphy and Molloy saw them home.

Ireland then ran out resounding 24-0 winners over Six Nations rivals Scotland with Houston touching down twice and Niamh Kavanagh and Feighery notching the other tries.

Italy were dismissed on a 29-10 scoreline with Ireland’s five tries shared out by Ashleigh Baxter (2), Briggs (2) and Cantwell.

But Sunday began on a losing note for Molloy and her team-mates as they went down 17-5 to tournament hosts and eventual Pool B winners France, despite a first minute try from Ashling Hutchings.

Ireland’s third place finish in the pool saw them advance to the Plate semi-finals where they again showed impressive game management and finishing skills, bursting clear of Germany in the second half to secure a well-earned 33-14 triumph.

Two converted tries from Seyma Ünlü gave the Germans the lead approaching half-time but Houston struck in timely fashion, and a trio of second half scores from Molloy, Briggs and Cantwell set up a rematch with the Netherlands.

Ireland had the measure of the Dutch girls in Guangzhou but lost twice to them at this corresponding event last summer, and it was nip and tuck once again when they met in Brive.

The early advantage was with the Netherlands after Anne Hielckert broke through for a second minute try. Indeed, Lorraine Laros’ conversion proved the difference between the sides at the interval as Houston answered back with an unconverted effort in the corner.

But two of Ireland’s Grand Slam stars from earlier in the season, Cantwell and Briggs, masterminded the win as the former’s ninth minute try, converted by Briggs, sealed a hard-fought success at the end of a rewarding competition for the girls in green.

The second leg of the European Sevens Series will take place in Marbella, Spain in two weeks’ time, before thoughts turn to Moscow and the World Cup which will be run over the weekend of June 29-30.

IRELAND WOMEN’S SEVENS Squad (2013 FIRA-AER European Sevens Grand Prix Series First Leg, Brive, France, Saturday, June 1-Sunday, June 2):

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

* Players involved in RBS 6 Nations Championship

Ireland Results at Brive Sevens –

Saturday – Pool B

Spain 14 Ireland 10, Stadium Municipal

Ireland Scorers: Tries: Niamh Briggs, Claire Molloy

IRELAND: Jenny Murphy, Claire Molloy, Niamh Briggs, Jeannette Feighery, Lynne Cantwell, Ashleigh Baxter, Ashleigh Hutchings.

Subs: Claire Keohane, Shannon Houston, Sophie Spence, Amy Davis, Niamh Kavanagh.

Ukraine 7 Ireland 17, Stadium Municipal

Ireland Scorers: Tries: Lynne Cantwell, Jenny Murphy, Claire Molloy; Con: Niamh Briggs

IRELAND: Jenny Murphy, Claire Molloy, Niamh Briggs, Jeannette Feighery, Lynne Cantwell, Amy Davis, Ashleigh Baxter.

Subs: Claire Keohane, Shannon Houston, Sophie Spence, Niamh Kavanagh, Ashling Hutchings.

Ireland 24 Scotland 0, Stadium Municipal

Ireland Scorers: Tries: Shannon Houston 2, Niamh Kavanagh, Jeannette Feighery; Cons: Claire Keohane 2

IRELAND: Niamh Briggs, Claire Keohane, Lynne Cantwell, Shannon Houston, Sophie Spence, Amy Davis, Niamh Kavanagh.

Subs: Jenny Murphy, Claire Molloy, Jeannette Feighery, Ashleigh Baxter, Ashling Hutchings.

Ireland 29 Italy 10, Stadium Municipal

Ireland Scorers: Tries: Ashleigh Baxter 2, Niamh Briggs 2, Lynne Cantwell; Cons: Niamh Briggs, Claire Keohane

IRELAND: Claire Molloy, Niamh Briggs, Jeannette Feighery, Lynne Cantwell, Shannon Houston, Ashleigh Baxter, Ashling Hutchings.

Subs: Jenny Murphy, Claire Keohane, Sophie Spence, Amy Davis, Niamh Kavanagh.

Sunday – Pool B

France 17 Ireland 5, Stadium Municipal

Ireland Scorers: Try: Ashling Hutchings

IRELAND: Claire Molloy, Niamh Briggs, Jeannette Feighery, Lynne Cantwell, Shannon Houston, Ashleigh Baxter, Ashling Hutchings.

Subs: Jenny Murphy, Claire Keohane, Sophie Spence, Amy Davis, Niamh Kavanagh.

Sunday – Play-Offs

Plate Semi-Final: Germany 14 Ireland 33, Stadium Municipal

Ireland Scorers: Tries: Lynne Cantwell 2, Shannon Houston, Claire Molloy, Niamh Briggs; Cons: Niamh Briggs 4

IRELAND: Claire Molloy, Niamh Briggs, Jeannette Feighery, Lynne Cantwell, Shannon Houston, Ashleigh Baxter, Niamh Kavanagh.

Subs: Jenny Murphy, Claire Keohane, Sophie Spence, Amy Davis, Ashling Hutchings.

Plate Final: Netherlands 7 Ireland 12, Stadium Municipal

Ireland Scorers: Tries: Shannon Houston, Lynne Cantwell; Con: Niamh Briggs

IRELAND: Claire Molloy, Niamh Briggs, Jeannette Feighery, Claire Keohane, Lynne Cantwell, Shannon Houston, Ashleigh Baxter.

Subs: Jenny Murphy, Sophie Spence, Amy Davis, Niamh Kavanagh, Ashling Hutchings.

Related Links –

Plate Win At London Sevens For Ireland Women

Ireland Women Secure Plate Title In China

Women’s Sevens Attracts Athletes With Olympic Lure