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Round-Up: U-18 European Girls Sevens Pool Stages

Round-Up: U-18 European Girls Sevens Pool Stages

We bring up a round-up of the Ireland Under-18 Girls Sevens squad’s performances on the opening day of the inaugural FIRA/AER U-18 European Sevens Championship in Enkoping, Sweden.

FIRA/AER U-18 EUROPEAN GIRLS SEVENS CHAMPIONSHIP: Saturday, September 13

POOL B –

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IRELAND 19 PORTUGAL 7

Ireland had four pool matches to play on the opening day, and first up were Portugal. Both teams were even enough from the start but Stan McDowell’s side opened the scoring with a try from captain Jayne Pennefather.

She used her pace to beat the Portuguese defender on the outside. Erin Caughey converted for a 7-0 lead at half-time. Back came Portugal who started the second half strongly and hit back with a seven-pointer of their own.

However, strong ball carrying by Mairead Hopkins led to Ireland’s second touchdown which Caughey converted.

During the closing minutes of the match, GAA and athletics recruit Fiona Tuite – playing in her first ever rugby match – scored on the far touchline for a 12-point winning margin.

IRELAND 31 SWEDEN 5

Ireland started strongly against Sweden with Erin Caughey scoring in the opening minutes. The home side came back with a well-worked try, levelling at 5-5.

Ireland fought back and Jessica Hunt scored a lovely try as she stepped past a defender and touched down under the posts. Caughey converted to give the Irish a 12-5 buffer at the break.

McDowell’s charges got into the groove and dominated the second half with tries from Stacey Flood, Meabh Donohoe and Kayleigh Hopkins to run out convincing 31-5 winners.

Ireland were now two from two and their next opponents were England – a mix of the players who featured in the recent UK School Games in Manchester.

ENGLAND 43 IRELAND 0

England were an extremely strong outfit and the eventual winners of the inaugural European Championship – they went through the entire weekend without conceding a point. Ireland were only 14-0 behind at half-time, but leaked seven tries in all as they fell to a 43-0 defeat.

IRELAND 5 WALES 12

The final match of the day was against Wales. Ireland started promisingly and Stacey Flood scored a good individual try, giving her side a 5-0 lead. Flood missed her own conversion.

Wales fought back and eventually won the match 12-5. This had Ireland finishing third overall in Pool B, behind England and Wales and put them into the Plate competition for day 2.

Their opponents in the plate semi-final were yet to be decided as there were still four pool matches to be played on Sunday morning. Following their completion, Pennefather and her team-mates faced off with Italy, who finished fourth in Pool A.

– With thanks to Shannon Reid, Enkoping Rugby Club & Rugby Europe

Related Links –

Ireland U-18 Girls Win Plate Title At European Sevens

FIRA/AER U-18 European Sevens Championship – Results/Tables