Jump to main content

Menu

Mulhall Praises Ireland’s ‘Teamwork And Grit’ After Pulsating Play-Off Win

Mulhall Praises Ireland’s ‘Teamwork And Grit’ After Pulsating Play-Off Win

The Ireland Women’s Sevens team defeated Russia 20-15 in a thrilling play-off encounter in San Francisco to guarantee their best ever finish at a Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament.

WOMEN’S RUGBY WORLD CUP SEVENS – 5TH-8TH PLACE PLAY-OFF: Saturday, July 21

IRELAND 20 RUSSIA 15, AT&T Park, San Francisco
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Stacey Flood, Eve Higgins, Lucy Mulhall, Louise Galvin

Google Ad Manager – 300×250 – In Article

Ireland will finish either fifth or sixth of the World Cup’s 16 competing teams following only their second ever win over Russia. Their previous one came in the final leg of the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series in Paris last month when winning the Challenge Trophy (10-5).

Anthony Eddy’s side will play Spain, who were 26-14 winners over Canada, in the 5th-6th place play-off at AT&T Park (kick-off 7pm local time/3am Irish time) (live on eir Sport 1/live streaming via www.rwcsevens.com (in certain countries)/highlights on ITV 4)., having overcome the Russian challenge with tries from Stacey Flood, Eve Higgins, captain Lucy Mulhall and Louise Galvin.

Giving her reaction after the team’s second victory of the weekend, Mulhall said: “Russia are really tough opposition, they’re always really tough around the breakdown and very athletic, so to come away with a win is really pleasing. I think the way we did it showed a lot of teamwork and a lot of grit so I’m happy.

“They’re fierce around the breakdown, that’s where they’ll turn you over a lot, and that’s where previously we’ve had to learn lessons. I’m just very thankful that we are learning those lessons and that we’re starting to put them into practice out on the field.

“Finishing in the top-six is really pleasing, we’ve worked hard all year. We’ve a lot of girls (who didn’t make the World Cup squad) sitting at home in Ireland supporting us who played a big role in this.

“For us to be able to get those results, that’s just what we want to get for those girls at home. I think it’s important for rugby Sevens in Ireland and it’s great to have the men’s team here as well.”

Two key players were missing from the starting line-ups for the early morning tie, with record try scorer Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe kept on the Irish bench and Russian enforcer Baizat Khamidova an absentee through injury.

There were positive early signs for Ireland with Kerry native Galvin leaping to win the kick-off and teenager Higgins catching Russian captain Alena Mikhaltsova with a textbook tackle, while Flood showed nifty footwork when running back a kick.

However, a second Russian kick found open territory and Arina Bystrova won the race to dribble forward and touch down in the third minute, with Katie Fitzhenry seeing yellow, on the TMO’s advice, for a pull-back on the try scorer. Daria Lushina’s conversion attempt came back off the near post.

Six-woman Ireland responded in superb fashion, launching forward through an excellent break from Galvin and then Aoife Doyle, Higgins and Mulhall on the follow-up. Flood produced a killer finish, flooring Bystrova with a powerful hand-off and evading Lushina near the left corner for a cracking levelling try.

The accuracy of Mulhall and Galvin from the restart immediately put Ireland on the attack again, and the former’s slashing run off a scrum and pinpoint pass put the supporting Higgins racing over close to the posts for a second unconverted score.

There was still time to squeeze in a third Irish try before half-time, the dynamic Mulhall showing her footballing skills with a crisp right foot that nudged a loose Russian pass towards the try-line and her pace off the mark was rewarded with the touchdown.

Three minutes into the second half, Ireland tagged on another five-pointer for a 20-5 advantage. Russia’s errors continued to be punished as the girls in green used scrum ball following a knock-on to attack purposefully out to the left where Galvin, who still had Bystrova to beat, finished deftly from a Mulhall assist.

Mulhall was narrowly wide with her conversion attempt and Russia hit back with their best spell of the game. Daria Shestakova pushed away from Higgins and showed a clean pair of heels to the chasers for a fine individual try from her own 22-metre line.

Lushina missed the conversion and also badly pulled her kick wide when attempting to add the extras to Marina Kukina’s 13th-minute try, which set up a dramatic conclusion, nonetheless, with five points between the sides. Crucially, Lushina miscued the restart and Ireland retained possession from the free-kick on halfway, Galvin and Doyle gaining ground before the hooter sounded for Flood to kick the ball dead and confirm the result.

TIME LINE: 3 minutes – Arina Bystrova – 0-5; conversion: missed by Daria Lushina – 0-5; 3 mins – Ireland yellow card: Katie Fitzhenry; 5 mins – Ireland try: Stacey Flood – 5-5; conversion: missed by Lucy Mulhall – 5-5; 6 mins – Ireland try: Eve Higgins – 10-5; conversion: missed by Lucy Mulhall – 10-5; 7+1 mins – Ireland try: Lucy Mulhall – 15-5; conversion: missed by Lucy Mulhall – 15-5; Half-time – Ireland 15 Russia 5; 10 mins – Ireland try: Louise Galvin – 20-5; conversion: missed by Lucy Mulhall – 20-5; 12 mins – Russia try: Daria Shestakova – 20-10; conversion: missed by Daria Lushina – 20-10; 13 mins – Russia try: Marina Kukina – 20-15; conversion: missed by Daria Lushina – 20-15; Full-time – Ireland 20 Russia 15

Team: Louise Galvin, Katie Fitzhenry, Ashleigh Baxter, Stacey Flood, Lucy Mulhall (capt), Eve Higgins, Aoife Doyle.

Sub used: Audrey O’Flynn. Not used: Hannah Tyrrell, Kathy Baker, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird.

Follow the Ireland Women’s and Men’s Sevens teams this season in our exclusive behind-the-scenes series – On The Road with the Ireland 7s.

The Ireland Sevens jerseys are available to buy online here from Elverys Intersport, official sports retailer of the IRFU.

IRELAND WOMEN’S SEVENS Squad (2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens, AT&T Park, San Francisco, USA, Friday, July 20-Saturday, July 21):
Kathy Baker (Blackrock/Leinster)
Ashleigh Baxter (Cooke/Ulster)
Claire Boles (Railway Union/Ulster)
Aoife Doyle (Shannon/Railway Union/Munster)
Katie Fitzhenry (Blackrock/Leinster)
Stacey Flood (Railway Union/Leinster)
Louise Galvin (UL Bohemian/Munster)
Eve Higgins (Railway Union/Leinster)
Lucy Mulhall (Rathdrum) (capt)
Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe (Railway Union/Munster)
Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Audrey O’Flynn (Ireland Women’s Sevens Programme)
Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere/Leinster)

IRELAND WOMEN’S RWC SEVENS Results/Fixtures –

Friday, July 20:

Round of 16: England 14 Ireland 19, AT&T Park, San Francisco
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Ashleigh Baxter, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe 2; Cons: Lucy Mulhall 2

Match Report: Murphy Crowe Double Does The Damage For Ireland Women Against England

Team: Louise Galvin, Ashleigh Baxter, Katie Fitzhenry, Stacey Flood, Lucy Mulhall (capt), Aoife Doyle, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe.

Sub used: Audrey O’Flynn. Not used: Hannah Tyrrell, Kathy Baker, Eve Higgins, Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird.

Cup Quarter-Final: Ireland 0 New Zealand 45, AT&T Park, San Francisco
Scorers: Ireland: –

Match Report: Ireland Women To Face Russia Following Cup Quarter-Final Exit

Team: Louise Galvin, Ashleigh Baxter, Katie Fitzhenry, Stacey Flood, Lucy Mulhall (capt), Aoife Doyle, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe.

Subs used: Eve Higgins, Audrey O’Flynn, Hannah Tyrrell, Kathy Baker, Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird.

Saturday, July 21:

5th-8th Place Play-Off: Ireland 20 Russia 15, AT&T Park, San Francisco
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Stacey Flood, Eve Higgins, Lucy Mulhall, Louise Galvin

Team: Louise Galvin, Katie Fitzhenry, Ashleigh Baxter, Stacey Flood, Lucy Mulhall (capt), Eve Higgins, Aoife Doyle.

Sub used: Audrey O’Flynn. Not used: Hannah Tyrrell, Kathy Baker, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird.

5th-6th Place Play-Off: Ireland v Spain, AT&T Park, San Francisco, 7pm local time/3am Irish time

More details on the Rugby World Cup Sevens are available here. Tickets are available to purchase here via the tournament website. There are single-day tickets in all seating categories and three-day tickets.