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Ireland Women To Face England In 5th-8th Place Play-Offs

Ireland Women To Face England In 5th-8th Place Play-Offs

Anna McGann leads an attack for Ireland during their final pool game against Belgium in Malaga ©INPHO/Martin Seras Lima

The ups and downs of a HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series weekend were summed up by the Ireland Women’s two results in Malaga today.

Aiden McNulty’s charges closed out the pool stages with a fine 29-12 win over Belgium, which secured second place in Pool A and a Cup quarter-final clash with France.

A second-minute try from Béibhinn Parsons edged Ireland ahead, but les Bleues showed their class by crossing five times without reply to advance as 33-5 winners.

The girls in green hit the front inside the opening minute against Belgium, Katie Heffernan instigating a break from deep and laying the ball off for Eve Higgins to charge downfield and score.

Margaux Lalli hit back for the Belgians following some neat interplay, the conversion briefly nudging them in front before Higgins completed her brace.

She was rewarded for another intelligent support line, this time collecting an offload from Emily Lane to race clear from inside the Irish half. Captain Lucy Mulhall converted from straight in front.

Heffernan tidied up a loose ball to reach over for try number three – making it 17-7 for half-time – and scrum half Lane used a dummy to burst clear from halfway and touch down with just over three minutes remaining.

Manon Nairac, who plays her club rugby with Old Belvedere, pulled a try back but Parsons had the final say, collecting Claire Boles’ pass out of a tackle to make it a five-try victory.

However, third seeds France proved too strong in the quarters, the early hope provided by Parsons who dashed clear for a breakaway score after the ball had squirted out of a ruck and Stacey Flood swooped on it.

The French lifted the tempo and Camille Grassineau rewarded them by crashing over in the fourth minute. Yolaine Yengo did likewise as their offloads began to stick.

Valentine Lothoz was able to push the lead out to 19-5 despite the best efforts of Mulhall right on the try-line.

Some loose Irish passing was seized upon by Seraphine Okemba who showed her pace and power to run in France’s fourth try. Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe did well to deny Okemba a second score.

The ever-industrious Flood also held up Ian Jason, but France got the closing try they wanted when captain Jade Ulutule sped in beside the posts and added her fourth conversion of the game.

Ireland are back in action at Estadio Ciudad de Malaga tomorrow morning, taking on old rivals England in the 5th place semi-final (kick-off 10am local time/9am Irish time).

IRELAND WOMEN’S SEVENS Squad (HSBC Spain Sevens, Estadio Ciudad de Malaga, Malaga, January 2022):

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

HSBC WORLD RUGBY SEVENS SERIES – SPAIN SEVENS FIXTURES/RESULTS:

Friday, January 21 –

POOL A:

SPAIN 5 IRELAND 21, Estadio Ciudad de Malaga
Scorers: Spain: Try: Olivia Fresneda
Ireland: Tries: Béibhinn Parsons, Stacey Flood, Eve Higgins; Cons: Lucy Mulhall 3
HT: Spain 0 Ireland 14

Team: Stacey Flood, Brittany Hogan, Béibhinn Parsons, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, Lucy Mulhall (capt), Emily Lane, Megan Burns.

Subs used: Anna McGann, Eve Higgins, Erin King. Not used: Katie Heffernan, Kate Farrell McCabe.

AUSTRALIA 17 IRELAND 12, Estadio Ciudad de Malaga
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Madison Ashby 2, Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea; Con: Tia Hinds
Ireland: Tries: Stacey Flood, Béibhinn Parsons; Con: Lucy Mulhall
HT: Australia 5 Ireland 5

Team: Stacey Flood, Brittany Hogan, Béibhinn Parsons, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, Lucy Mulhall (capt), Emily Lane, Megan Burns.

Subs used: Eve Higgins, Erin King. Not used: Katie Heffernan, Anna McGann, Kate Farrell McCabe.

Day 1 Round-Up: Parsons And Flood Hit The Ground Running For Ireland Women

Saturday, January 22 –

POOL A:

IRELAND 29 BELGIUM 12, Estadio Ciudad de Malaga
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Eve Higgins 2, Katie Heffernan, Emily Lane, Béibhinn Parsons; Cons: Lucy Mulhall 2
Belgium: Tries: Margaux Lalli, Manon Nairac; Con: Margaux Stevins
HT: Ireland 17 Belgium 7

Team: Stacey Flood, Katie Heffernan, Anna McGann, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, Lucy Mulhall (capt), Eve Higgins, Emily Lane.

Subs used: Kate Farrell McCabe, Erin King, Claire Boles, Béibhinn Parsons. Not used: Megan Burns.

HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series – Spain Sevens Fixtures/Results

HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series – Spain Sevens Pool Tables

CUP QUARTER-FINAL:

FRANCE 33 IRELAND 5, Estadio Ciudad de Malaga
Scorers: France: Tries: Camille Grassineau, Yolaine Yengo, Valentine Lothoz, Seraphine Okemba, Jade Ulutule; Cons: Jade Ulutule 4
Ireland: Try: Béibhinn Parsons
HT: France 19 Ireland 5

Team: Stacey Flood, Brittany Hogan, Béibhinn Parsons, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, Lucy Mulhall (capt), Emily Lane, Megan Burns.

Subs used: Eve Higgins, Kate Farrell McCabe, Katie Heffernan. Not used: Claire Boles, Erin King.

Sunday, January 23 –

5TH PLACE SEMI-FINAL:

ENGLAND v IRELAND, Estadio Ciudad de Malaga, 10am local time/9am Irish time