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Higgins Scores Decisive Try As Ireland Women Advance To Semi-Finals

Higgins Scores Decisive Try As Ireland Women Advance To Semi-Finals

Higgins Scores Decisive Try As Ireland Women Advance To Semi-Finals

Eve Higgins fends off Canada's Krissy Scurfield to score the match-winning try for Ireland in Toulouse ©INPHO/Martin Seras Lima

Eve Higgins’ late match-winning try against Canada completed an outstanding couple of hours for the IRFU Sevens Programmes at the HSBC France Sevens tournament in Toulouse.

Watch the HSBC France Sevens live here via World Rugby

Higgins came off the bench to raid down the right touchline and see Ireland edge out Canada 22-21, setting up a renewal of rivalries with Australia in tomorrow’s Cup semi-finals (kick-off 1.52pm local time/12.52pm Irish time).

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It is only the second time ever that both the Ireland Men’s and Women’s Sevens teams have qualified for the semi-final stage at the same HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series event.

Their semi-final appearances in Seville, back in January, marked a milestone achievement with the Ireland Women winning silver and then adding a bronze medal in Langford just three weeks ago.

Aiden McNulty’s young squad are very much on the hunt for medals again at the Stade Ernest Wallon, and they are pushing for a first ever top three season finish as the 2022 Women’s campaign comes to an exciting climax.

As ever, Lucy Mulhall led from the front against Canada. The captain’s kick-off was tapped back by Stacey Flood and quickly retrieving possession, Mulhall stepped inside Nakisa Levale and darted clear to score under the posts.

Touching down after just nine seconds was a serious statement of intent, but Canada had a swift response through Renee Gonzalez who broke clear after a neat set-up by Breanne Nicholas. The latter’s conversion made it seven-all.

Jack Hanratty’s side absorbed some Irish pressure, with Katie Heffernan on while Flood was patched up, before replacement Olivia Apps used her fresh legs to scoot clear of Emily Lane from deep and make it 14-7.

Lane was picking up clever positions from restarts, also claiming turnover ball on the ground as Ireland ended the first half on the front foot. Mulhall and Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe increased their threat with ball in hand.

When play moved back out to the left, a pinpoint floated pass from Flood allowed Erin King to come in off the wing and break past three defenders for a memorable first World Series try for the Wicklow teenager.

Mulhall’s conversion came back off the near post, leaving Ireland two points down at half-time, but Canada conceded again early on the restart as the girls in green flooded forward to send King over to complete her brace.

Flood, Higgins and Murphy Crowe all carried with great intent and King, who was involved twice in the build-up with a couple of flicked offloads, crashed over out wide from a Megan Burns pass.

The tit-for-tat nature of the game continued with Bianca Farella’s offload releasing Olivia de Couvreur clean through from 40 metres out to move Canada back in front at 21-17.

Ireland bounced back from a missed Murphy Crowe opportunity to thwart a Canadian breakout. Kate Farrell McCabe led a strong counter ruck that won a crucial penalty with less than two minutes remaining.

Up stepped Higgins, running hard from just inside halfway, and she used Murphy Crowe as a decoy to burst down the wing, handing off Kristy Scurfield along the way to decide this end-to-end quarter-final in Ireland’s favour.

IRELAND WOMEN’S SEVENS Squad (HSBC France Sevens, Stade Ernest Wallon, Toulouse, May 20-22, 2022):

Claire Boles (Railway Union RFC)
Megan Burns (Blackrock College RFC)
Vicky Elmes Kinlan (Wicklow RFC)
Stacey Flood (Railway Union RFC)
Katie Heffernan (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 (Wicklow RFC) (capt)
Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe (Railway Union RFC)


Friday, May 20 –


IRELAND 31 ENGLAND 12, Stade Ernest Wallon
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Lucy Mulhall 3, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, Eve Higgins; Cons: Lucy Mulhall 3
England: Tries: Ellie Boatman, Emma Uren; Con: Isla Norman-Bell
HT: Ireland 26 England 12

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

Subs used: Katie Heffernan, Vicky Elmes Kinlan, Anna McGann, Brittany Hogan, Kate Farrell McCabe.

IRELAND 17 BRAZIL 14, Stade Ernest Wallon
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Eve Higgins, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe 2; Con: Lucy Mulhall
Brazil: Tries: Bianca Silva, Gabriela Lima; Cons: Raquel Kochhann 2
HT: Ireland 7 Brazil 7

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

Subs used: Kate Farrell McCabe, Anna McGann, Megan Burns, Katie Heffernan. Not used: Claire Boles.

Day 1 Round-Up: Murphy Crowe’s Late Brace Seals Quarter-Final Spot For Ireland Women

Saturday, May 21 –


IRELAND 5 FRANCE 12, Stade Ernest Wallon
Scorers: Ireland: Try: Megan Burns
France: Tries: Joanna Grisez, Jade Ulutule; Con: Jade Ulutule
HT: Ireland 5 France 0

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

Subs used: Erin King, Claire Boles, Kate Farrell McCabe, Katie Heffernan, Anna McGann.

Day 2 Round-Up: Ireland Women To Play Canada In Toulouse Quarter-Final

HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series – France Sevens Fixtures/Results

HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series – France Sevens Pool Tables


CANADA 21 IRELAND 22, Stade Ernest Wallon
Scorers: Canada: Tries: Renee Gonzalez, Olivia Apps, Olivia de Couvreur; Cons: Breanne Nicholas 2, Olivia Apps
Ireland: Tries: Lucy Mulhall, Erin King 2, Eve Higgins; Con: Lucy Mulhall
HT: Canada 14 Ireland 12

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

Subs used: Katie Heffernan, Eve Higgins, Kate Farrell McCabe, Claire Boles. Not used: Anna McGann.

Sunday, May 22 –


IRELAND v AUSTRALIA, Stade Ernest Wallon, 1.52pm local time/12.52pm Irish time

All matches live on the World Rugby stream here.