Ireland Women will hope to finish this HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series December double-header strongly and carry some momentum into the New Year after Stan McDowell‘s side endured another difficult Pool stage campaign at the Cape Town Sevens.
After losing their opening game to a powerful USA outfit on Friday, Ireland went down to further Pool C defeats to Australia and England at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday, meaning they drop into the 11th place play-off against Brazil on Sunday afternoon (1.11pm local time, 11.11am Irish time).
Ahead of the Christmas break and then the World Series legs in Hamilton and Sydney at the end of January/start of February, McDowell’s Ireland will hope to pick themselves back up and board the plane home with a strong performance to their name, and Sunday’s play-off gives them the chance to do so.
Ireland will know they’ll need to improve across all facets heading into the final day of the tournament after they struggled to contain Australia and then England in 29-0 and 36-7 defeats today, with Eve Higgins scoring the sole try for McDowell’s charges.
Three first-half tries set the Wallabies on their way to victory and while Ireland enjoyed periods of possession in the second half, Australia held firm and then added two more scores at the other end.
In the final Pool game, Ireland’s slow start once again made it an onerous task for the Katie Fitzhenry-led side as England ran in six tries.
Ireland, who finished 10th in Dubai last week, will now face Brazil as they bid to pick up valuable points for the overall World Series standings.