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Ireland Women Register Back-To-Back Wins In Seville

Ireland Women Register Back-To-Back Wins In Seville

Ireland flyer Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe breaks clear of Brazil's Thalia Costa and Aline Ribeiro ©INPHO/Martin Seras Lima

The Ireland Women went unbeaten on day one of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournament in Seville, setting up a pool decider against Russia.

Aiden McNulty’s charges edged out an ever-improving Poland 14-10, thanks to a last-gasp Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, and overcame Brazil 29-12 in their second Pool B outing.

A cagey first half saw Poland threaten first through Tamara Czumer out wide, but Béibhinn Parsons chased her down and Murphy Crowe was quickly in to win a turnover penalty.

It was Murphy Crowe’s quick thinking that broke the deadlock in the fifth minute, as she tapped a penalty in her own half and burst clear to score behind the posts. Captain Lucy Mulhall converted.

Poland pulled it back to 7-5 for half-time, Anna Klichowska using a strong hand-off on Stacey Flood to score from far out.

Eve Higgins’ sin-binning for a deliberate knock-on gave the Polish side the early edge in the second half. The pacy Malgorzata Koldej was a whisker away from scoring via a kick from deep.

Koldej denied Murphy Crowe a breakaway try, before Poland lifted the tempo again and a prolonged attack ended with Czumer crossing for an unconverted 12th-minute score.

It was nail-biting stuff as the invitational team, who claimed the scalp of Canada in Malaga last week, retained possession until Emily Lane forced a turnover penalty.

Opting for a scrum, Ireland moved the ball across halfway and replacement Kate Farrell McCabe released Murphy Crowe who shrugged off Koldej’s challenge to score. Mulhall’s conversion completed a dramatic victory.

Ireland were quickly off the mark against Brazil, Flood cutting through from the edge of their 22 after an initial lung-busting break by Higgins and good ball retention through the following phases.

Parsons had a simple run-in to make it 10-0, quickly punishing Mariana Nicolau’s yellow card, but Raquel Kochhann converted her own try to kickstart a flurry of late first half scores.

Fed by Flood’s long pass, Higgins cleverly carved open the Brazilian defence, ghosting through a gap out wide to score from just inside the Irish half. Mulhall converted.

Brazil closed the gap once more, though, some lovely footwork and speed from Bianca Silva, who missed the Malaga tournament, making it 17-12 at the interval.

With the tricky Thalia Costa causing some problems, Brazil built for a levelling score only for Flood to make a crucial tackle in the Irish 22 and Higgins won a penalty at the breakdown.

Farrell McCabe carried well before Murphy Crowe neatly sliced in between two defenders to score and settle the issue. Mulhall converted with less than a minute remaining.

Kochhann ended the game in the bin, seeing yellow for a deliberate knock-on, and Lane fed Mulhall off the resulting scrum, allowing the Wicklow native to speed down the short side and reach over past the covering Silva.

IRELAND WOMEN’S SEVENS Squad (HSBC Spain Sevens, Estadio La Cartuja de Sevilla, Seville, January 2022):

Kathy Baker (Blackrock College RFC)
Claire Boles (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)
Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe (Railway Union RFC)
Béibhinn Parsons (Blackrock College RFC)

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

Friday, January 28 –

POOL B:

IRELAND 14 POLAND 10, Estadio La Cartuja de Sevilla
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe 2; Cons: Lucy Mulhall 2
Germany: Tries: Anna Klichowska, Tamara Czumer
HT: Ireland 7 Poland 5

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

Subs used: Erin King, Kathy Baker, Kate Farrell McCabe, Claire Boles. Not used: Katie Heffernan.

IRELAND 29 BRAZIL 12, Estadio La Cartuja de Sevilla
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Stacey Flood, Béibhinn Parsons, Eve Higgins, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, Lucy Mulhall; Cons: Lucy Mulhall 2
Brazil: Tries: Raquel Kochhann, Bianca Silva; Con: Raquel Kochhann
HT: Ireland 17 Brazil 12

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

Subs used: Erin King, Kathy Baker, Kate Farrell McCabe, Claire Boles. Not used: Katie Heffernan.

HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series – Spain Sevens Fixtures/Results

HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series – Spain Sevens Pool Tables

Saturday, January 29 –

POOL B:

RUSSIA v IRELAND, Estadio La Cartuja de Sevilla, 12.13pm local time/11.13am Irish time