The Ireland Women’s Sevens Development team have advanced through to the quarter-finals of the Dubai Invitational Tournament after rounding off the Pool stages with a win and a draw on Friday.
Matt Wilkie‘s young side have grown in confidence and stature as the tournament has progressed and a hard-fought 7-0 win over Russia, coupled with a 19-19 draw against Phoenix Rugby 7s, ensured their passage through to the last eight.
Ireland, who have received large support from a travelling contingent of family and friends, will face the Kenya Lionesses in Saturday’s quarter-final at 1pm local time/9am Irish time.
After an opening game win over Thursday Night Lights, Ireland struggled during a 38-0 defeat to Japan Development in their second outing, but Wilkie’s charges rebounded strongly on Friday afternoon.
In a tight game, Ireland displayed huge work-rate in defence to earn a narrow 7-0 win over Russia thanks to a first-half try from Railway Union winger Stephanie Carroll, before they rounded off the pool stages with a 19-19 draw against Phoenix Rugby 7s.
The Ireland Men’s Development side, meanwhile, were held to a 7-7 draw in their third and final Pool outing in the Invitational Tournament, with Ireland Under-20 Grand Slam winner Iwan Hughes crossing.
Ireland will hope to record their first win of the week in the 13th place play-off againstASC Dhukla on Saturday (2pm local time, 10am Irish time).
IRELAND MEN’S DEVELOPMENT SQUAD (Dubai Invitational 7s – Thursday, December 5 – Saturday, December 7):
Aaron Sexton (Malone/Ulster)
Iwan Hughes (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
Max O’Reilly (DUFC/Leinster)
Cormac Izuchukwu (Old Wesley)
Graham Curtis (Malone/Ulster)
Liam Turner (DUFC/Leinster)
Paddy Patterson (UCD/Leinster)
Duran Krummeck (Irish Sevens)
Eanna Madden (Seapoint)
Ronan Kapi (IQ Rugby)
Rob Russell (Dublin University/Leinster)
Hugh Lane (Galwegians/Connacht).
IRELAND WOMEN’S DEVELOPMENT SQUAD (Dubai Invitational 7s – Thursday, December 5 – Saturday, December 7):
Enya Breen (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Stephanie Carroll (Railway Union/Leinster)
Lucinda Kinghan (DCU/Ulster)
Maeve Liston (Blackrock/Ulster)
Kate Farrell McCabe (DCU/Leinster)
Grace Moore (IQ Rugby)
Anna McGann (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Lucy Turkington (Dungannon/Ulster)
Leah Reilly (DCU/Leinster)
Soneva Scott (IQ Rugby)
Laura Sheehan (UL/Munster)
Dorothy Wall (Railway Union/Munster).
DUBAI INVITATIONAL TOURNAMENT MATCH SCHEDULE:
Thursday, December 5:
Ireland Men’s Development 7-33 France Development
Ireland Men’s Development 7-33 Samurai Zastava
Ireland Women’s Development 31-5 Thursday Night Lights
Ireland Women’s Development 0-38 Japan Development
Friday, December 6:
Ireland Men’s Development 7-7 Olorun Ponty Butchers
Ireland Women’s Development 7-0 Russia
Ireland Women’s Development 19-19 Phoenix Rugby 7s
Saturday, December 7:
Ireland Women’s Development v Kenya Lionesses Cup Quarter-Final, 1pm local time/9am Irish time.
Ireland Men’s Development v ASC Dukla, 13th place play-off, 2pm local time, 10am Irish time.