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Ireland Women To Face China In Dublin Quarter-Finals

Ireland Women To Face China In Dublin Quarter-Finals

The Ireland Women claimed two comprehensive victories over Mexico and Hong Kong and lost out to a physical South African side on the opening day of the Women’s Sevens Dublin tournament.

The UCD Bowl was home to passionate fans from a number of the 12 competing countries, with the vocal Ireland supporters whipping up a terrific atmosphere for the girls in green’s three pool fixtures.

Anthony Eddy’s charges roared out of the blocks with heavy wins over Mexico (64-0) and Hong Kong (50-0), but a hard-fought encounter went South Africa’s way as the Springbok Women triumphed 17-5 to advance as Pool C winners.

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Two-time Six Nations winner Alison Miller topped the Irish try-scoring charts with five, her 15-a-side colleague Jenny Murphy was not far behind with three, while Amee-Leigh Crowe, captain Lucy Mulhall, Hannah Tyrrell and Katie Fitzhenry scored two each.

Despite the defeat, pool runners-up Ireland remain very much in the hunt for one of those two coveted places on the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series. They will meet China in tomorrow’s Cup quarter-finals (10.52am) with the winners clashing with either South Africa or Hong Kong in a decisive last-four tie (2.20pm).

The two teams that reach the Cup final will secure a core team place on the 2015/16 Series alongside New Zealand, Canada, Australia, England, USA, France, Russia, Fiji and Spain.

Women’s Sevens Dublin tickets are priced from 5 euro and available from Ticketmaster here. You can also pay at the gate tomorrow. Kids go free. All are welcome for a mouth-watering final day of Sevens rugby at the UCD Bowl!

In addition, every try, kick, pass and tackle will be streamed live here on IrishRugby.ie tomorrow.

For a full recap of day 1’s events, visit our Live Blog which has match results/scorers, reaction, pics of all 12 competing teams and the fans, and tweets from those watching at UCD and on our live stream around the world.

The pool stages of the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup will be hosted at UCD. Visit https://www.irishrugby.ie/wrwc17 for information on the 2017 tournament and to subscribe to our newsletter.

IRELAND WOMEN’S SEVENS Squad (Women’s Sevens Dublin – UCD Bowl, Dublin, Saturday, August 22-Sunday, August 23):

Audrey O’Flynn (TID)
Jenny Murphy (Old Belvedere)
Stacey Flood (Railway Union)
Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere)
Amee-Leigh Crowe (Clanwilliam)
Ashleigh Baxter (Belfast Harlequins)
Katie Fitzhenry (Blackrock)
Claire Keohane (UL Bohemians)
Lucy Mulhall (Rathdrum) (capt)
Claire Molloy (Bristol)
Louise Galvin (UL Bohemians)
Alison Miller (Portlaoise)

IRELAND WOMEN’S RESULTS/FIXTURES:

Saturday, August 22 –

POOL C:

Ireland 64 Mexico 0
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Amee-Leigh Crowe 2, Katie Fitzhenry, Jenny Murphy 2, Louise Galvin, Lucy Mulhall, Audrey O’Flynn, Alison Miller, Hannah Tyrrell; Cons: Lucy Mulhall 7

Ireland set the tone for a dominant first display with five tries in the opening half. Claire Keohane took a quick tap, Katie Fitzhenry was stopped short on the right, but the ball worked wide to the left for Amee-Leigh Crowe to score the opener.

Jenny Murphy won the subsequent restart and Louise Galvin’s precise pass put Fitzhenry away in the same left corner.

Crowe added her second try with an incisive break. A similar solo attack resulted in Murphy going in under the posts and Galvin then evaded a tackle in midfield to finish neatly. Captain Lucy Mulhall added three conversions for a 31-0 interval scoreline.

It was more of the same in the second period, great pace and power seeing Murphy get over again soon after the restart, and Mulhall – the ‘Tinahely Tank’ herself – was next over the whitewash.

Former hockey international Audrey O’Flynn stormed over for a deserved score, as Ireland broke the 50-point mark. O’Flynn and Hannah Tyrrell’s height and physical strength helped Ireland win a number of restarts in the closing half.

Alison Miller made it over in the right corner thanks to a trademark hand-off and crisp finish, and a bout of excellent continuity led to Tyrrell dashing over to the left of the posts. 64-0 and a big statement of intent, and among those watching from the stand was Ireland men’s head coach Joe Schmidt.

Team: Ashleigh Baxter, Katie Fitzhenry, Jenny Murphy, Claire Keohane, Lucy Mulhall (capt), Louise Galvin, Amee-Leigh Crowe.

Subs: Audrey O’Flynn, Stacey Flood, Hannah Tyrrell, Claire Molloy, Alison Miller.

Ireland 50 Hong Kong 0
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Alison Miller 4, Lucy Mulhall, Jenny Murphy, Claire Molloy, Hannah Tyrrell; Cons: Lucy Mulhall 5

A first half hat-trick for Alison Miller had Ireland cruising by half-time, leading Hong Kong by a 33-point margin. Miller started the scoring with a try inside a minute, Louise Galvin and Katie Fitzhenry both prominent in the build-up.

Lucy Mulhall notched the second try, stretching over from a metre out, and the third followed from Jenny Murphy via a powerful fend.

Lovely hands from Galvin and Claire Keohane set up Miller for her second touchdown, sprinting in from the right wing, and the hat-trick score followed for the Portlaoise woman who broke a tackle in front of the posts.

Into the second half, a silky side-stepping run from Claire Molloy got her on the scoresheet, Galvin’s well-timed pass released Miller to finish off her fourth try of the game and Hannah Tyrrell’s breakaway score capped off another confident all-round performance.

Team: Ashleigh Baxter, Katie Fitzhenry, Jenny Murphy, Claire Keohane, Lucy Mulhall (capt), Louise Galvin, Alison Miller.

Subs: Audrey O’Flynn, Stacey Flood, Hannah Tyrrell, Claire Molloy, Amee-Leigh Crowe.

South Africa 17 Ireland 5
Scorers: Ireland: Try: Katie Fitzhenry

This was a very even contest in the opening seven minutes. Ireland had the early pressure and territory but Phumeza Gadu’s try in the final minute from a kick through splits the sides – 5-0 at the interval.

The engrossed crowd witnessed some thunderous tackles, particularly between Jenny Murphy and Marithy Pienaar. South Africa defended very well with Ireland unable to get into scoring situations. A fine burst from Ashleigh Baxter might have been followed up on, but the ‘Boks held firm.

Anthony Eddy got the response he wanted, early on the resumption, as Ireland levelled through Katie Fitzhenry who, with a lovely step off her left, outpaced the South Africa cover after the hosts had worked numbers out wide.

Lucy Mulhall could not convert and the skipper had to quickly track back to produce a try-saving tackle in the very next phase. Pienaar then made the initial incision in the lead up to a Fundiswa Plaatjie try.

And with Ireland handling a lot of possession without really threatening from deep, the South Africans made certain of the result when Veroeshka Grain acrobatically went over under the posts.

Team: Ashleigh Baxter, Katie Fitzhenry, Jenny Murphy, Claire Keohane, Lucy Mulhall (capt), Louise Galvin, Amee-Leigh Crowe.

Subs: Audrey O’Flynn, Stacey Flood, Hannah Tyrrell, Claire Molloy, Alison Miller.

Sunday, August 23 –

CUP QUARTER-FINALS:

10.30am – South Africa v Hong Kong
10.52am – Ireland v China
11.14am – Japan v Wales
11.36am – Netherlands v Brazil

CUP SEMI-FINALS:

2.20pm – South Africa or Hong Kong v Ireland or China
2.42pm – Japan or Wales v Netherlands or Brazil