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Ireland Lose Out To Defending Champions Australia

Ireland Lose Out To Defending Champions Australia

Ireland suffered their first defeat at the Women’s Rugby World Cup Sevens as Australia continued their defence of the title with an impressive 22-5 victory in Moscow.

WOMEN’S RUGBY WORLD CUP SEVENS – POOL B: Saturday, June 29

AUSTRALIA 22 IRELAND 5, Gorodok Stadium, Moscow

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Scorers: Australia: Tries: Sharni Williams, Emilee Cherry, Shontelle Stowers, Ili Batibasaga; Con: Sharni Williams
Ireland: Try: Alison Miller

Australia made it two wins out of two to seize control of Pool B ahead of the final round of matches in the afternoon – second half tries from substitutes Shontelle Stowers and Ili Batibasaga saw to that.

It was an evenly-contested opening seven minutes with Alison Miller breaking through for a deserved try in response to an early converted effort from Australian captain Sharni Williams.

Irish head coach Jon Skurr made one change to the team that started against South Africa, bringing Shannon Houston in for Sophie Spence.

Crucially, the Wallaroos struck for a try on the stroke of half-time through Emilee Cherry to give themselves some breathing space at 12-5.

Ireland remained in the hunt, defending doggedly and keeping a good shape in attack, but Australia’s greater experience and clinical finishing skills saw them run out 17-points winners in the end.

The humidity is providing difficult to cope with at times – temperatures rose to 32 degrees for the second run of pool matches – but Australia head coach Chris Lane admitted afterwards that his players ‘feel right at home with this weather, it’s perfect for us’.

Some nice offloading set up Stowers for her try which effectively put the game beyond Ireland’s reach, and a late turnover sent Batibasaga through for try number four.

The girls in green are now third in the Pool B table ahead of the final round of pool fixtures. South Africa have nipped into second place following a 19-7 win over bottom side China.

Skurr’s charges will head to the main tournament venue, Luzhniki Stadium, for their ‘must win’ encounter with the Chinese (kick-off 3.58pm local time/12.58pm Irish time).

Click here to visit the official IRB tournament website for the latest results and updates.

TIME LINE: 2 minutes – Australia try: Sharni Williams – 5-0; conversion: Sharni Williams – 7-0; 4 mins – Ireland try: Alison Miller – 7-5; conversion: missed by Jenny Murphy – 7-5; 6 mins – Australia try: Emilee Cherry – 12-5; conversion: missed by Sharni Williams – 12-5; Half-time – Australia 12 Ireland 5; 13 mins – Australia try: Shontelle Stowers – 17-5; conversion: missed by Sharni Williams – 17-5; 14+1 mins – Australia try: Ili Batibasaga – 22-5; conversion: missed by Sharni Williams – 22-5; Full-time – Australia 22 Ireland 5

AUSTRALIA: Shannon Parry, Sharni Williams, Saofaiga Saemo, Amy Turner, Rebecca Tavo, Emilee Cherry, Charlotte Caslick.

Subs: Shontelle Stowers, Nikki Etheridge, Katrina Barker, Tiana Penitani, Ili Batibasaga.

IRELAND: Jenny Murphy, Claire Molloy, Jeannette Feighery, Lynne Cantwell, Alison Miller, Shannon Houston, Ashleigh Baxter.

Subs: Sophie Spence, Larissa Muldoon, Amy Davis, Laura O’Mahony, Nikki Caughey.

Referee: Sherry Trumbull (Canada)