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Murphy Crowe Fast Out Of The Blocks With Five-Try Haul

Murphy Crowe Fast Out Of The Blocks With Five-Try Haul

Murphy Crowe Fast Out Of The Blocks With Five-Try Haul

Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe breaks clear to score a try during Ireland's opening game of the HSBC Cape Town Sevens against Spain ©INPHO/Christiaan Kotze

Record-breaking winger Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe kicked off her 50th tournament for the Ireland Women’s Sevens team (sponsored by TritonLake) with five tries in two games.

Their second leg of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series began with the Cape Town Stadium bathed in warm December sunshine, and Ireland strung together two well-crafted wins.

A hat-trick of tries from Murphy Crowe, coupled with a Béibhinn Parsons brace, propelled Aiden McNulty’s charges to a 33-12 victory over Spain in their Pool A opener.

Hosts South Africa were next up, and with Murphy Crowe (2) and Parsons again on the scoresheet and Megan Burns also crossing the whitewash, Ireland ran out 24-0 winners.

Captain Lucy Mulhall chipped in with three classy assists against the Springbok Women. The result puts her side through to the Cup quarter-finals and before that, they face Australia in tomorrow’s pool decider (kick-off 1.47pm local time/11.47am Irish time).

Murphy Crowe had the honour of leading Ireland out for their Cape Town opener against Spain, as her team-mates marked her half-century of caps across the World Series, Rugby World Cup Sevens, and Rugby Europe competitions and qualifiers.

Fittingly, it was the Tipperary woman who opened the scoring in the second minute. Parsons’ early turnover kicked off a strong set of phases and the Railway Union star stepped inside off her wing to dash over from the Spanish 10-metre line.

Spain were back level soon after, their captain Amaia Erbina jinking away from Parsons and Mulhall to score from halfway. However, the restart from Amalia Argudo went out on the full and Ireland made sure they retook the lead before half-time.

A counter ruck from Mulhall and Stacey Flood led to a late penalty near the Spanish try-line. Flood tapped it and fed Murphy Crowe for a lunging finish. Mulhall clipped over her second conversion for a 14-7 interval lead.

More aggressive defence from Ireland forced a Spanish error, and from the resulting scrum, Mulhall ran hard out to the right where she expertly drew in two defenders and released Murphy Crowe to complete her hat-trick.

Parsons then outpaced Marta Cantabrana Gil on the outside to open her account, following good work in the build-up from Erin King and replacement Kate Farrell McCabe.

Mulhall converted to leave it 26-7 and also added the extras to a second Parsons score, which owed much to a turnover-winning counter ruck from replacement Brittany Hogan. Bruna Elias crossed for a late consolation effort for Spain.

Despite a kick-off from Mulhall that dropped short, Ireland were the early aggressors against South Africa. The hosts leaked a series of penalties and following a strong run by Eve Higgins, Mulhall attacked the short side and released Murphy Crowe for a third-minute breakthrough.

The Springbok Women put some promising phases together until Mulhall forced a turnover penalty. She took it quickly and as Ireland tried to go wide, Marlize de Bruin’s deliberate knock-on earned her a yellow card.

The girls in green ground out a second try past the half-time hooter, Katie Heffernan getting her pass away for Parsons to gather and race clear of the covering Felicia Jacobs. Mulhall’s conversion put a dozen points between the sides.

Murphy Crowe doubled her contribution in the ninth minute, Mulhall again the instigator with a quick tap from her own half and a beautifully-weighted kick through which last season’s World Series top try scorer gobbled up for a slick seven-pointer.

Ireland then lost Murphy Crowe to the bin, for a pull-back on Liske Lategan, but Mulhall continued to find openings for her team-mates, sucking in defenders once more as she released replacement Burns to raid over from the left wing.

Claire Boles, who was added to the squad this week, brought energy off the bench during the final minutes. She got over the ball at the breakdown to win a penalty which allowed Mulhall to find touch and close out a four-try triumph.

You can watch all the World Series action live on the World Rugby Sevens website, while there will be updates across Irish Rugby social channels and reports here on IrishRugby.ie.

IRELAND WOMEN’S SEVENS Squad (HSBC Cape Town Sevens, Cape Town Stadium, December 9-11, 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 (Railway Union RFC)
Eve Higgins (Railway Union RFC)
Brittany Hogan (Old Belvedere RFC)
Erin King (Old Belvedere RFC)
Vicky Elmes Kinlan (Wicklow RFC)
Claire Boles (Railway Union RFC)
Kate Farrell McCabe (Suttonians RFC)
Lucy Mulhall (Wicklow RFC) (capt)
Béibhinn Parsons (Blackrock College RFC)

IRELAND WOMEN’S SEVENS Schedule – HSBC Cape Town Sevens:

Friday, December 9 –


IRELAND 33 SPAIN 12, Cape Town Stadium
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe 3, Béibhinn Parsons 2; Cons: Lucy Mulhall 4
Spain: Tries: Amaia Erbina, Bruna Elias; Con: Claudia Peña Hidalgo
HT: Ireland 14 Spain 7

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

Subs used: Kate Farrell McCabe, Megan Burns, Brittany Hogan, Kathy Baker, Vicky Elmes Kinlan.

IRELAND 24 SOUTH AFRICA 0, Cape Town Stadium
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe 2, Béibhinn Parsons, Megan Burns; Cons: Lucy Mulhall 2
South Africa: –
HT: Ireland 12 South Africa 0

Team: Katie Heffernan, Erin King, Béibhinn Parsons, Kate Farrell McCabe, Lucy Mulhall (capt), Eve Higgins, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe.

Subs used: Megan Burns, Brittany Hogan, Vicky Elmes Kinlan, Kathy Baker, Claire Boles.

Saturday, December 10 –


AUSTRALIA v IRELAND, Cape Town Stadium, 1.47pm local time/11.47am Irish time


Sunday, December 11 –