The Ireland Women’s Sevens squad warmed up for next month’s European Championship with a confidence-boosting run of results in the Silver Pier competition of the Amsterdam Sevens last weekend.
Over an action-packed two days, Ireland won seven of their eight games as they finished as runners-up to the Canadian development team in a closely-fought Silver Pier tournament final.
The girls in green were beaten 26-14 by Canada, being edged out in the second half after the opening period had ended level (7-7). They scored 46 tries in all and conceded just six with new captain Lucy Mulhall deservedly winning the Player of the Tournament award. Her excellent haul of 91 points included seven tries and 28 conversions.
Ireland’s other leading try scorers across the weekend were Katie Fitzhenry (6), Claire Molloy (6), Alison Miller (5), Eimear Considine (5), Louise Galvin (5) and Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe (4).
It was very beneficial game-time together for the Irish squad against international opposition, with the day 2 schedule of five matches providing an ideal test for the players ahead of their departure for Kazan, Russia on June 9 and the first leg of the European Championship.
Ireland have been drawn in Pool B for the Kazan tournament alongside 2014 European runners-up France, old rivals Spain and Ukraine, who won promotion from Division A last summer.
IRFU Director of Rugby Sevens and Women’s Sevens head coach Anthony Eddy said: “The actual tournament experience in Amsterdam was very valuable for the squad. Playing five games on day 2 was the ambition and Canada were very strong competition in the final.
“There were some great individual performances and Lucy Mulhall should be congratulated for being selected as Player of the Tournament.”
IRELAND WOMEN’S SEVENS SQUAD (2015 Amsterdam Sevens – Women’s Silver Pier Tournament, May 23-24, National Rugby Centre, Amsterdam, Netherlands):
Lucy Mulhall (capt)
Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe
IRELAND WOMEN’S RESULTS –
Saturday, May 23:
Pool 1 –
Ireland 54 Ushizi Warriors 0 (Tries: Katie Fitzhenry, Claire Keohane, Alison Miller 2, Lucy Mulhall 2, Claire Molloy 2; Cons: Lucy Mulhall 7)
Ireland 45 Finland 0 (Tries: Lucy Mulhall, Eimear Considine, Claire Molloy 2, Shannon Houston, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, Katie Fitzhenry; Cons: Lucy Mulhall 3, Jenny Murphy, Stacey Flood)
Ireland 52 Norwegian Vikingettes 0 (Tries: Eimear Considine 3, Louise Galvin 3, Claire Molloy, Lucy Mulhall; Cons: Lucy Mulhall 5, Claire Keohane)
Sunday, May 24:
Pool 4 –
Ireland 43 Switzerland 0 (Tries: Alison Miller 2, Katie Fitzhenry, Louise Galvin, Eimear Considine, Lucy Mulhall, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe; Cons: Lucy Mulhall 4)
Ireland 38 Scottish Select 0 (Tries: Jenny Murphy, Alison Miller, Katie Fitzhenry 2, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, Stacey Flood; Cons: Lucy Mulhall 3, Stacey Flood)
Ireland 31 Amazonas 0 (Tries: Jenny Murphy, Louise Galvin, Claire Molloy, Lucy Mulhall, Shannon Houston; Cons: Lucy Mulhall 3)
Semi Final: Ireland 17 Wales 14 (Tries: Jenny Murphy, Lucy Mulhall, Shannon Houston; Con: Lucy Mulhall)
Final: Ireland 14 Canadian Maple Leafs 26 (Tries: Katie Fitzhenry, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe; Cons: Lucy Mulhall 2)
Women’s Sevens Olympic Qualification Process For Rio 2016 –
1. The top four teams in the World Series will automatically gain Olympic qualification. This will be decided at the final leg of the World Series being held on May 23-24 in Amsterdam. The current top four standings are New Zealand, Canada, Australia and USA.
2. There will be six regional qualifiers held during June and July 2015. The winners from each of these will qualify for the Olympics.
3. The last qualification place will be awarded to the winners of the World Repechage tournament which will be held in 2016.
4. Brazil automatically qualifies as the host nation and gets the 12th spot.
Ireland’s Olympic Qualification Process For Rio 2016 –
1. As the Ireland Women’s Sevens team are not in the World Series, the route to the Olympics is through the regional qualifiers for Europe. This year’s European Championship will be held over two consecutive weekends (Russia, June 13-14, and France, June 20-21). The winning side qualifies for the Olympics.
2. If Ireland does not win the 2015 European Championship, qualification is possible in 2016 through the 2016 World Repechage. To qualify for the World Repechage, Ireland must:
(a) Finish as runners-up of the 2015 European Championship or
(b) Finish in the top three of the European Repechage (Lisbon, July 2015)
The winners of the 2016 World Repechage will qualify for the Olympics.