18 matches, 252 minutes of exciting Sevens rugby, watched by an enthusiastic multi-nation crowd, all live-streamed and live-blogged with #womens7s trending on Twitter. It was quite a day for the participants and those watching on at the Women’s Sevens Dublin tournament.
With Ireland men’s coach Joe Schmidt and Sports Minister Paschal Donohoe among the attendance, the opening day of the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series qualifier attracted a lot of interest on a busy sports-packed Saturday.
From the partisan home support that flocked to the UCD Bowl’s stand for Ireland’s clashes with Mexico, Hong Kong and South Africa, to the Japanese taiko drummers and the infectiously happy Kenyan supporters that sang and danced no matter what their team’s results.
Not even the drizzly rain and overcast conditions could dampen spirits as the enjoyment factor was high both on and off the pitch, with the first World Rugby Sevens event to be held in Ireland drawing rugby regulars and also those new to the game and in particular, Sevens.
Japan, the Netherlands and South Africa went through the day unbeaten, their three wins from three seeing them finish top of Pools A, B and C respectively. Yume Okuroda and the powerfully-built Mateitoga Bogidraumainadave (pictured above) were the leading lights for the Japanese, while regular scorer Johanne Marije van Rossum led by example for the Dutch and Marithy Pienaar (pictured below) and Veroeshka Grain were the pick of the Springbok players.
Of the other Cup quarter-finalists, Alison Miller tallied up five tries for hosts Ireland and Jenny Murphy was back to her destructive best, with strike runner Laurie Harries nabbing some important tries for Wales and Yuanyuan Lu doing likewise for China.
The all-action Pak Yon Poon excelled with a five-try haul in Hong Kong’s runaway 48-0 defeat of Mexico, which clinched their place in the last-eight. Of the lower-ranked teams, Janet Okello deserves a mention for two fine breakaway tries for Kenya and the accurate counter-rucking of Rio 2016-qualified Colombia won them a number of refereeing decisions.
It all makes for a fascinating final day at Belfield tomorrow where the quarter-final matches get underway at 10.30am. The two teams that reach the Cup final will secure a core team place on the 2015/16 World Rugby Women’s Sevens 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.
WOMEN’S SEVENS DUBLIN – DAY 1 RESULTS:
Brazil 10 Japan 19
Wales 33 Samoa 12
Wales 14 Japan 17
Brazil 42 Samoa 5
Japan 33 Samoa 0
Brazil 0 Wales 17
China 29 Kenya 7
Netherlands 33 Colombia 0
Netherlands 22 Kenya 7
China 26 Colombia 0
Kenya 12 Colombia 7
China 10 Netherlands 22
South Africa 31 Hong Kong 5
Ireland 64 Mexico 0
Ireland 50 Hong Kong 0
South Africa 38 Mexico 0
Hong Kong 48 Mexico 0
South Africa 17 Ireland 5
DAY 2 FIXTURES:
10.30am – Cup Quarter-Final: South Africa v Hong Kong
10.52am – Cup Quarter-Final: Ireland v China
11.14am – Cup Quarter-Final: Japan v Wales
11.36am – Cup Quarter-Final: Netherlands v Brazil
11.58am – Kenya v Mexico
12.20pm – Colombia v Samoa
1.36pm – Plate Semi-Final
1.58pm – Plate Semi-Final
2.20pm – Cup Semi-Final
2.42pm – Cup Semi-Final
3.04pm – 11th/12th Place Play-Off
3.50pm – Bowl Final
4.20pm – 7th/8th Place Play-Off
4.42pm – Plate Final
5.12pm – 3rd/4th Place Play-Off
5.38pm – Cup Final