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Ireland Women End Dubai Opener With Play-Off Win

Ireland Women End Dubai Opener With Play-Off Win

Lucy Mulhall captained the Ireland Women's Sevens team to a ninth place finish in Dubai this weekend ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

After enduring some narrow defeats in the scorching Dubai heat, the Ireland Women signed off at the opening leg of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series with a 31-14 play-off win over Spain.

Ireland finished ninth overall after Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe and Megan Burns scored two tries each against the Spanish, in the team’s most complete performance of the weekend.

Murphy Crowe made history yesterday by becoming the first Irish player to amass 100 World Series tries. Her five scores in Dubai mean her record now stands at 103 tries in 136 games.

Youngsters Erin King, Aoibheann Reilly and Kate Farrell McCabe all made their World Series debuts, while it was a second tournament appearance for Béibhinn Parsons ahead of her 20th birthday on Tuesday.

Anthony Eddy, the IRFU Director of Sevens and Women’s Rugby, and incoming head coach Aiden McNulty are building squad depth ahead of a busy season for the IRFU Sevens Programme with qualification for the 2022 Rugby World Cup Sevens on the line.

Dubai is hosting the opening two rounds of the World Series over consecutive weekends with next week’s second leg seeing the crowds make a welcome return to The Sevens Stadium.

At the start of day two, Ireland rounded off the pool stages with a tight 14-5 defeat to Russia. They quickly got on the front foot with Mulhall and Murphy Crowe threatening in the 22.

Playing with a penalty advantage in the second minute, Stacey Flood drew a defender wide and passed back inside for Mulhall to dart over from 10 metres out.

The opening went unconverted from the left, and while Russia sought out a quick response, Mulhall, Katie Heffernan and Claire Boles all denied them with vital tackles just a few metres out.

The pressure eventually told when Alena Tiron was freed up to score near the left corner, making it 7-5 for half-time. Kristina Seredina’s arcing run saw her cross just after the break.

IRELAND WOMEN’S SEVENS Squad (Dubai Sevens, The Sevens Stadium, Dubai, November 2021):

Kathy Baker (Blackrock College RFC)
Claire Boles (Railway Union RFC)
Brittany Hogan (Ballynahinch RFC/Old Belvedere RFC)
Erin King (Old Belvedere RFC)
Katie Heffernan (Mullingar RFC/Railway Union RFC)
Stacey Flood (Railway Union RFC)
Aoibheann Reilly (Blackrock College RFC)
Lucy Mulhall (Rathdrum RFC) (capt)
Eve Higgins (Railway Union RFC)
Kate Farrell McCabe (Suttonians RFC)
Béibhinn Parsons (Blackrock College RFC)
Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe (Railway Union RFC)
Megan Burns (Blackrock College RFC)

HSBC WORLD RUGBY SEVENS SERIES – DUBAI SEVENS RESULTS:

Friday, November 26 –

POOL B:

FIJI 28 IRELAND 12, The Sevens Stadium Pitch 2, Dubai
Scorers: Fiji: Tries: Reapi Ulunisau, Ana Maria Naimasi, Sesenieli Donu, Laisana Likuceva; Cons: Rusila Nagasau 3, Ana Maria Naimasi
Ireland: Tries: Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, Lucy Mulhall; Con: Lucy Mulhall
HT: Fiji 14 Ireland 0

Team: Kathy Baker, Eve Higgins, Brittany Hogan, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, Stacey Flood, Lucy Mulhall (capt), Béibhinn Parsons.

Subs used: Katie Heffernan, Megan Burns, Claire Boles, Kate Farrell McCabe. Not used: Erin King.

GREAT BRITAIN 26 IRELAND 15, The Sevens Stadium, Dubai
Scorers: Great Britain: Tries: Emma Uren, Megan Jones 2, Abbie Brown; Cons: Megan Jones 3
Ireland: Tries: Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, Eve Higgins, Claire Boles
HT: Great Britain 14 Ireland 5

Team: Katie Heffernan, Eve Higgins, Erin King, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, Stacey Flood, Lucy Mulhall (capt), Megan Burns.

Subs used: Claire Boles, Aoibheann Reilly, Brittany Hogan, Béibhinn Parsons. Not used: Kate Farrell McCabe.

CANADA 21 IRELAND 17, The Sevens Stadium, Dubai
Scorers: Canada: Tries: Pam Buisa, Renee Gonzalez, Elissa Alarie; Cons: Breanne Nicholas 3
Ireland: Tries: Béibhinn Parsons, Eve Higgins, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe; Con: Lucy Mulhall
HT: Canada 14 Ireland 5

Team: Kathy Baker, Brittany Hogan, Erin King, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, Stacey Flood, Lucy Mulhall, Béibhinn Parsons.

Subs used: Aoibheann Reilly, Eve Higgins, Katie Heffernan, Kate Farrell McCabe. Not used: Claire Boles.

HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series – Dubai Sevens Results

HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series – Dubai Sevens Pool Tables

Saturday, November 27 –

POOL B:

RUSSIA 14 IRELAND 5, The Sevens Stadium, Dubai
Scorers: Russia: Tries: Alena Tiron, Kristina Seredina; Cons: Kristina Seredina 2
Ireland: Try: Lucy Mulhall
HT: Russia 7 Ireland 5

Team: Katie Heffernan, Claire Boles, Eve Higgins, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, Stacey Flood, Lucy Mulhall (capt), Megan Burns.

Subs used: Kathy Baker, Béibhinn Parsons, Kate Farrell McCabe, Aoibheann Reilly, Erin King.

9TH-10TH PLACE PLAY-OFF:

SPAIN 14 IRELAND 31, The Sevens Stadium, Dubai
Scorers: Russia: Tries: Maria Garcia, Iera Echebarria; Cons: Amalia Argudo, Lea Ducher
Ireland: Tries: Eve Higgins, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe 2, Megan Burns 2; Cons: Lucy Mulhall 3
HT: Spain 7 Ireland 26

Team: Eve Higgins, Brittany Hogan, Erin King, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, Stacey Flood, Lucy Mulhall (capt), Megan Burns.

Subs used: Claire Boles, Kathy Baker, Béibhinn Parsons, Kate Farrell McCabe, Aoibheann Reilly.