Jump to main content

Menu

Murphy Crowe Shines As Ireland Women Finish Third In Malemort

Murphy Crowe Shines As Ireland Women Finish Third In Malemort

The Ireland Women finished the opening leg of the Rugby Europe Sevens Grand Prix Series in style with a 26-7 win over England to claim third place in Malemort – and some valuable points towards Rugby World Cup Sevens qualification.

Ireland’s graph continues to rise with Anthony Eddy’s side now in pole position to claim one of the series’ two qualifying spots for next summer’s Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament. Third is also Ireland’s highest placing at the Malemort 7s, following on from fifth (2015) and fourth (2016) in recent seasons.

Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe showed again what a deadly finisher she is, top-scoring with nine tries over the weekend including five in two games against England. Ireland had the measure of the Red Roses twice, building on their maiden victory over the English in Canada last month.

Google Ad Manager – 300×250 – In Article

The key objective for Ireland in these European competitions – the final leg takes place in Kazan, Russia on July 8-9 – is to qualify for the 2018 RWC Sevens in San Francisco. Spain have qualified already and both Malemort champions Russia and France are set to join them thanks to their World Series rankings, so that leaves Ireland and England battling it out for the two qualification places along with Wales, who finished sixth today.

The achievements of the Irish squad in France were all the more impressive given that Ashleigh Baxter was injured for the second day and did not tog out, while Louise Galvin’s tournament was ended prematurely by injury in the narrow Cup semi-final defeat to the French.

Having claimed a clean sweep of wins to top their pool yesterday, Ireland faced Spain at the quarter-final stage this morning. After an edgy start from both sides, the girls in green were first to threaten as Megan Williams and Murphy Crowe combined up the left touchline before Sene Naoupu carried on but lacked the necessary support.

Captain Lucy Mulhall got in at the breakdown to win a subsequent penalty, however, and quick ball out to the left, with Stacey Flood running an intelligent line, saw her feed Murphy Crowe for a simple finish. Ireland were five points to the good with a two-and-a-half minutes on the clock.

Nonetheless, from the restart, Patricia Garcia lit up the Spanish attack by collecting her own kick and Audrey O’Flynn was sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on. The remainder of the first half was a real scrap in the Irish half, Naoupu and Williams standing out in a gutsy collective defensive effort.

Murphy Crowe also put in a try-saving tackle, both defences continuing to cancel each other out until the 11th minute when Galvin’s clever kick pass sat up for Murphy Crowe to blaze up the left wing and add another five points to Ireland’s tally. Galvin turned try scorer in the final minute, throwing a dummy and breaking free on the outside to wrap up a 15-0 victory.

Ireland suffered an early blow in the Cup semi-final with Kerry woman Galvin hobbling off injured. Having failed to make the most of a powerful break from O’Flynn, the girls in green continued to have the better of territory but France’s Jade Le Pesq used a quick tap to weave her way over for a try just before the half-time hooter.

The sides were level at the break, though, as Ireland did well to stretch the French defence, Naoupu carrying hard up to the 22 before O’Flynn stepped in off her right to touch down behind the posts. Mulhall’s conversion evened things up at seven points apiece.

Into the second half, Naoupu and O’Flynn spearheaded a surge up the right that had Ireland on the cusp of a second try but Williams unfortunately knocked on Hannah Tyrrell’s bouncing pass on the 22 with the French cover struggling to get across.

It was les Bleues who finished the stronger, benefiting from a couple of penalties which put them within striking distance. A last-minute attack out to the right unlocked the Irish defence as Shannon Izar’s set-up gave Marine Menager enough time and space to make the line, sealing a tense 14-7 win and bringing Ireland’s unbeaten run to an end.

That left Eddy’s charges fighting for third place against old rivals England. Having fallen behind to a superb long range try from Heather Fisher inside the opening 80 seconds, they soon got to grips with the Red Roses and ended up as deserved four-try 26-7 winners.

A switch between Tyrrell and Murphy Crowe saw the Tipperary speedster burst clear from halfway for a fourth minute try converted by Mulhall, and past the half-time hooter, Murphy Crowe cut inside a defender and dashed through a gap to make it over in the right corner – 12-7.

Ireland had a good cushion by the midpoint of the second half, Stacey Flood using a big hand-off to burst clear from just inside the Irish half and race in under the posts. Mulhall converted and some lovely interplay between the skipper and Murphy Crowe preceded the game’s final try, the ball being worked back out to the left where Williams supplied the finishing touches and Kim Flood’s crisply-struck conversion drew warm applause.

The results in Malemort continue what has been an tremendous summer of Sevens so far for Ireland teams, with top-three finishes for the Women in Malemort and the Men in both Moscow (as title winners) and Lodz. The Women’s squad are back in action next weekend in the final leg of the World Series in Clermont-Ferrand, having already retained their place as a core team for 2017/18.

In Pics: Ireland Women’s Sevens Squad In Malemort

FULL VIDEO REPLAY – CUP QUARTER-FINAL: IRELAND 15 SPAIN 0 by Rugby Europe

FULL VIDEO REPLAY – CUP SEMI-FINAL: FRANCE 14 IRELAND 7 by Rugby Europe

FULL VIDEO REPLAY – 3RD-4TH PLACE PLAY-OFF: IRELAND 26 ENGLAND 7 by Rugby Europe

IRELAND WOMEN’S SEVENS Squad (Rugby Europe Women’s Sevens Grand Prix Series, Raymond Faucher Stadium, June 17-18):

Ashleigh Baxter (Cooke/Ulster)
Chloe Blackmore (St. Mary’s/Munster)
Claire Keohane (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Stacey Flood (Railway Union/Leinster)
Kim Flood (Railway Union/Leinster)
Louise Galvin (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Katie Heffernan (Mullingar/Railway Union (dual status)/Leinster)
Anna McGann (Buccaneers/UCD (dual status)/Leinster)
Lucy Mulhall (Rathdrum/Leinster) (capt)
Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe (Railway Union/Munster)
Sene Naoupu (Aylesford Bulls)
Audrey O’Flynn (Ireland Sevens Programme)
Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Megan Williams (St. Mary’s)

RUGBY EUROPE WOMEN’S SEVENS GRAND PRIX SERIES – MALEMORT 7s RESULTS:

Saturday, June 17 – Pool C:

Ireland 22 Italy 7, Raymond Faucher Stadium
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Stacey Flood, Megan Williams, Audrey O’Flynn, Penalty try/conversion

Team: Audrey O’Flynn, Megan Williams, Sene Naoupu, Stacey Flood, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, Lucy Mulhall (capt), Louise Galvin.

Subs: Hannah Tyrrell, Ashleigh Baxter, Kim Flood, Claire Keohane, Katie Heffernan.

Ireland 47 Portugal 7, Raymond Faucher Stadium
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Kim Flood, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe 2, Lucy Mulhall, Ashleigh Baxter, Louise Galvin, Stacey Flood; Cons: Lucy Mulhall 4, Kim Flood 2

Team: Kim Flood, Megan Williams, Ashleigh Baxter, Claire Keohane, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, Lucy Mulhall (capt), Hannah Tyrrell.

Subs: Audrey O’Flynn, Stacey Flood, Sene Naoupu, Louise Galvin, Katie Heffernan.

England 12 Ireland 24, Raymond Faucher Stadium
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe 3, Ashleigh Baxter; Cons: Lucy Mulhall 2

Team: Audrey O’Flynn, Megan Williams, Ashleigh Baxter, Stacey Flood, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, Lucy Mulhall (capt), Louise Galvin.

Subs: Hannah Tyrrell, Sene Naoupu, Claire Keohane, Kim Flood, Katie Heffernan.

Day 1 Round-Up: Ireland Women Advance As Pool Winners At Malemort 7s

Sunday, June 18:

Cup Quarter-Final: Ireland 15 Spain 0, Raymond Faucher Stadium
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe 2, Louise Galvin

Team: Audrey O’Flynn, Megan Williams, Sene Naoupu, Stacey Flood, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, Lucy Mulhall (capt), Louise Galvin.

Subs: Hannah Tyrrell, Claire Keohane, Kim Flood, Katie Heffernan.

Cup Semi-Final: France 14 Ireland 7, Raymond Faucher Stadium
Scorers: Ireland: Try: Audrey O’Flynn; Con: Lucy Mulhall

Team: Audrey O’Flynn, Megan Williams, Sene Naoupu, Stacey Flood, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, Lucy Mulhall (capt), Louise Galvin.

Subs: Hannah Tyrrell, Claire Keohane, Kim Flood, Katie Heffernan.

3rd-4th Place Play-Off: Ireland 26 England 7, Raymond Faucher Stadium
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe 2, Stacey Flood, Megan Williams; Con: Lucy Mulhall 2, Kim Flood 

Team: Audrey O’Flynn, Megan Williams, Sene Naoupu, Stacey Flood, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, Lucy Mulhall (capt), Hannah Tyrrell.

Subs: Claire Keohane, Kim Flood, Katie Heffernan.

This weekend’s matches were streamed live on www.rugbyeurope.tv. For more information on the Rugby Europe Women’s Sevens Grand Prix Series, click here.