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Ireland Women Finish As Bowl Runners-Up In Clermont

Ireland Women Finish As Bowl Runners-Up In Clermont

It was a weekend of ups and downs for the Ireland Women at the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series tournament in Clermont-Ferrand.

Anthony Eddy’s side finished tenth overall of the 12 competing teams in France, losing today’s Bowl final 24-5 to Russia – one of their main rivals at next month’s World Olympic Repechage event at UCD.

Having been narrowly beaten by Fiji at the tail-end of the pool stages, Ireland returned to the pitch in determined mood and cruised to a dominant 33-0 Bowl semi-final win over Japan.

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The Russians proved too strong in the Bowl decider, but it was still Ireland’s second best finish over the five legs of this season’s World Series – they were 12th in both Dubai and Sao Paulo, won the Bowl title for ninth in Atlanta and came 11th last time out in Langford, Canada.

Their overall World Series ranking of 12th means the girls in green will take their place in Pool C for the Olympic Repechage in Dublin, alongside China, Portugal and Trinidad & Tobago.

After Clermont, the Ireland Women’s Sevens squad will compete in the first leg of the Rugby Europe Women’s Sevens Grand Prix in Kazan, Russia on June 11-12. Then comes the Global Sevens Qualifier in UCD on June 25 and 26 and a shot at the Olympics – click here for tickets.

HSBC WORLD RUGBY WOMEN’S SEVENS SERIES – DAY 2:

BOWL SEMI-FINAL:

JAPAN 0 IRELAND 33, Stade Gabriel Montpied, Clermont-Ferrand
Scorers: Japan: –
Ireland: Tries: Alison Miller, Aoife Doyle, Amee-Leigh Crowe, Lucy Mulhall 2; Cons: Lucy Mulhall 4

HT: Japan 0 Ireland 14

Ireland opened day two in Clermont extremely keen to post their first win of the weekend, and they faced familiar opponents in Japan.

The Bowl semi-final began with the Irish absorbing some early pressure in defence, before some excellent footwork and a hand-off saw Aoife Doyle spring clear over halfway for a very well-taken opening try, converted by skipper Lucy Mulhall.

Ireland were 14-0 to the good by the break, another strong spell of defending preceding a lineout in the Irish 22 that led to Mulhall putting Amee-Leigh Crowe clear up the left wing for her 10th try in 22 World Series appearances.

Mulhall was next over the whitewash, reacting swiftly to a Japanese pass that went to ground and expertly side-footing through to score from 20 metres out.

Try number four followed from Alison Miller, who was sprung from the bench and used a big hand-off to run in a trademark individual try right from inside her own half. Mulhall converted to make it 26-0.

Ireland achieved a record-equalling 33-point triumph over the Japanese with a late seven-pointer, Ashleigh Baxter’s turnover and Megan Williams’ inviting offload off the deck releasing Mulhall for her second try of the game.

IRELAND: Audrey O’Flynn, Stacey Flood, Megan Williams, Amee-Leigh Crowe, Ashleigh Baxter, Aoife Doyle, Lucy Mulhall (capt).

Subs: Sene Naoupu, Hannah Tyrrell, Kim Flood, Alison Miller.

BOWL FINAL:

RUSSIA 24 IRELAND 5, Stade Gabriel Montpied, Clermont-Ferrand
Scorers: Russia: Tries: Yulia Guzeva 2, Oxana Korobchuk, Daria Noritsina; Cons: Daria Lushina 2
Ireland: Try: Audrey O’Flynn

HT: Russia 19 Ireland 0

The Bowl final did not go to plan for Ireland as Russia stormed to a 19-point victory in what was a disappointingly one-sided encounter.

The Russians got on the front foot early on, with Ireland needing back-to-back tackles from the energetic Megan Williams to break up a threatening attack.

However, Russia’s patience was rewarded when a handling error from Audrey O’Flynn allowed them to attack out wide to the right where Oxana Korobchuk handed off Stacey Flood to score a seven-pointer.

A mix-up between Aoife Doyle and Amee-Leigh Crowe prevented Ireland from building from deep, and Yulia Guzeva’s quick feet took her to the line in the fifth minute.

Ireland’s hard running in defence led to tired legs just before half-time and Russia duly pounced for a third try, the impressive Guzeva showing a clean pair of heels again to make it 19-0 at the turnaround.

Ireland finally got on the board in the 13th minute. Kim Flood had a good impact off the bench and after Alison Miller was hauled down short following her powerful midfield bust, the ball was recycled for Hannah Tyrrell to send O’Flynn over in the left corner.

Russia were still full of endeavour and running, though, and they wrapped up a convincing result when Daria Noritsina burst away from Ashleigh Baxter up the left touchline for their fourth and final try.

IRELAND: Audrey O’Flynn, Stacey Flood, Megan Williams, Amee-Leigh Crowe, Ashleigh Baxter, Aoife Doyle, Lucy Mulhall (capt).

Subs: Sene Naoupu, Hannah Tyrrell, Kim Flood, Alison Miller.

HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series – Clermont 7s Results

Clermont 7s – Day 1 Round-Up

HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series – Final Standings

IRELAND WOMEN’S SEVENS Squad (HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series, Clermont-Ferrand, May 28-29):

Ashleigh Baxter (Cooke/Ulster)
Aoife Doyle (Shannon/Munster)
Kim Flood (Railway Union/Leinster)
Stacey Flood (Railway Union/Leinster)
Alison Miller (Portlaoise/Connacht)
Lucy Mulhall (Rathdrum/Leinster) (capt)
Amee-Leigh Crowe (Railway Union/Munster)
Sene Naoupu (Galwegians/Connacht)
Audrey O’Flynn (Talent ID Programme)
Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Susan Vaughan (Railway Union/Leinster)
Megan Williams (St. Mary’s)

Match Schedule –

Saturday, May 28:

Pool C –

France 40 Ireland 0, Stade Gabriel Montpied
Australia 40 Ireland 5, Stade Gabriel Montpied
Fiji 19 Ireland 14, Stade Gabriel Montpied

Sunday, May 29:

Bowl Semi-Final: Japan 0 Ireland 33, Stade Gabriel Montpied
Bowl Final: Russia 24 Ireland 5, Stade Gabriel Montpied