Jump to main content


New Zealand Prove Too Strong For Ireland Women

New Zealand Prove Too Strong For Ireland Women

The Ireland Women suffered a five-try defeat in their second pool outing at the Emirates Dubai Rugby Sevens today, as reigning World Series and Rugby World Cup Sevens champions New Zealand stormed to a 29-0 victory.



Google Ad Manager – 300×250 – In Article

IRELAND 0 NEW ZEALAND 29, 7he Sevens Stadium, Dubai, UAE

Scorers: Ireland: –
New Zealand: Tries: Shakira Baker, Kayla McAlister 2, Honey Hireme, Shiray Tane; Cons: Hazel Tubic, Selica Winiata

Match Report: Encouraging Start For Ireland Women In Dubai

New Zealand, who won this tournament last year, maintained their stranglehold on Pool A as they ran out comfortable winners over Dubai debutants Ireland.

The result actually extended their winning run to 14 matches at this level, which stretches back to March. New Zealand fielded an unchanged team from their opening 33-7 victory over Fiji.

Ireland head coach Jon Skurr made one alteration to the side that drew 12-12 with the USA, bringing in Anna Caplice for Christine Arthurs.

The girls in green were made to pay for five missed tackles early on as New Zealand used their superior physicality and pace to score two tries from two visits to the Irish 22.

Ireland got the ball into Alison Miller’s hands in the opening exchanges with Ashleigh Baxter trailing her in support, but they were unable to break into New Zealand territory.

Strong tackling and rucking from New Zealand forced a turnover and Shakira Baxter shrugged off Caplice’s initial tackle before handing off Larissa Muldoon on the way to the try-line. Hazel Tubic sent the left-sided conversion wide.

With four minutes on the clock, Kayla McAlister, a sister of former All Black Luke McAlister, sliced through the Irish defence from inside her own half and Miller was unable catch her before the line as Ireland fell 12-0 behind.

Niamh Ni Dhroma and Laura O’Mahony were introduced in the second half by Skurr, but New Zealand kept on course with a third try scored by Honey Hireme after just 37 seconds.

Team captain Huriana Manuel created the score by spearheading a sweeping break and she held in the defenders before passing for Hireme to touch down wide on the left. Tubic’s conversion attempt fell short.

McAllister then completed her brace in the other corner, slipping away from Miller and her strength took her over past the covering Ni Dhroma’s tackle. 

Ireland showed some better continuity in the closing stages as Ni Dhroma’s half-break launched them forward and Baxter, Claire Keohane and Amy Davis all carried well.

Skipper Shannon Houston linked up nicely with Baxter on the left, but Ireland were left to rue another turnover as New Zealand countered from deep after the hooter and Alexis Tapsell released fellow replacement Shiray Tane to canter in under the posts.

Try number five was converted by Selica Winiata – another player who was sprung from New Zealand’s talented bench – to confirm the 29-point winning margin.

Ireland wrap up the pool stages by facing Fiji in a ‘must win’ encounter at 3.40pm Irish time. You can watch the action live here from Dubai.

TIME LINE: 2 minutes – New Zealand try: Shakira Baker – 0-5; conversion: missed by Hazel Tubic – 0-5; 4 mins – New Zealand try: Kayla McAlister – 0-10; conversion: Hazel Tubic – 0-12; Half-time – Ireland 0 New Zealand 12; 8 mins – New Zealand try: Honey Hireme – 0-17; conversion: missed by Hazel Tubic – 0-17; 10 mins – New Zealand try: Kayla McAlister – 0-22; conversion: missed by Hazel Tubic – 0-22; 14+2 mins – New Zealand try: Shiray Tane – 0-27; conversion: Selica Winiata – 0-29; Full-time – Ireland 0 New Zealand 29

IRELAND: Shannon Houston (capt), Anna Caplice, Larissa Muldoon, Alison Miller, Claire Keohane, Ashleigh Baxter, Amy Davis.

Subs used: Niamh Ni Dhroma (9 mins), Laura O’Mahony (11). Not used: Siobhan Barrett, Christine Arthurs, Nikki Caughey.

NEW ZEALAND: Linda Itunu, Honey Hireme, Shakira Baker, Sarah Goss, Hazel Tubic, Huriana Manuel (capt), Kayla McAlister.

Subs used: Hayley Hutana (10 mins), Selica Winiata, Alexis Tapsell (both 12), Shiray Tane (13). Not used: Carla Hohepa.

Referee: Amy Perrett (Australia)

IRELAND WOMEN’S SEVENS Squad (Emirates Dubai Rugby Sevens, Dubai, UAE, November 28-29):

Christine Arthurs (Tralee/Connacht)
Siobhan Barrett (Tralee/Munster)
Ashleigh Baxter (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
Anna Caplice (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Nikki Caughey (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
Amy Davis (Blackrock College/Ulster)
Shannon Houston (Blackrock College/Leinster) (capt)
Claire Keohane (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Alison Miller (Portlaoise/UCC/Connacht)
Larissa Muldoon (UWIC/Exile)
Niamh Ni Dhroma (Buccaneers/Connacht)
Laura O’Mahony (Tralee/Munster)


Thursday, November 28 –

IRELAND 12 USA 12, 7he Sevens Stadium
IRELAND 0 New Zealand 29, 7he Sevens Stadium
IRELAND v Fiji, 7he Sevens Stadium, 7.40pm local time/3.40pm Irish time

Friday, November 29 –

Cup, Bowl and Plate competitions (11.40am-9.16pm local time/7.40am-5.16pm Irish time)


First leg: Dubai, United Arab Emirates – November 28-29, 2013

Second leg: Atlanta, Georgia, USA – February 15-16, 2014

Third leg: Arena Barueri, São Paulo, Brazil – February 21-22, 2014

Fourth leg: Guangzhao University Town Stadium, Guangzhao, China – April 4-6 2014

Fifth leg: National Rugby Centrum, Amsterdam, Netherlands – May 16-17, 2014

Related Links –

IRB Women’s Sevens World Series – Dubai Website

First Step On Road To Rio For Women’s Sevens Squad

Skurr: New Players On Learning Curve In Dubai