Jump to main content


Ireland U-18 Women End European Sevens Campaign With Biggest Try Haul

Ireland U-18 Women End European Sevens Campaign With Biggest Try Haul

Ireland U-18 Women End European Sevens Campaign With Biggest Try Haul

Influential scrum half Robyn O'Connor breaks clear to score a try for Ireland against Scotland in Prague ©www.rugbyunion.cz/Martin Flousek

Putting in two strong performances to close out the tournament, the Ireland Under-18 Women’s Sevens team ended the Rugby Europe U-18 Sevens Championship with a handsome haul of 31 tries.

Google Ad Manager – 300×250 – In Article

Ireland got the better of Belgium (29-14) and Scotland (43-5) in their final ranking matches to finish fifth overall in Prague. They matched the results of last year’s team with four wins and two defeats.

A tough draw meant Katie Fitzhenry’s side had to play both England and eventual champions France in the pool stages, and a 24-7 loss to the French meant the girls in green missed out on a shot at a medal.

However, they did go on to play some of their best rugby of the weekend and score a total of 191 points and 31 tries – the highest ever Irish tallies at a Rugby Europe U-18 Women’s Sevens Championship.

Tullow’s Katie Corrigan, one of four returning players from the 2022 bronze medal-winning squad, was the leading try scorer with six. Lyndsay Clarke, Hannah Clarke and Molly Boote had four each.

Niamh Murphy laid down an early marker against France with a rip in the tackle, but despite an evenly-contested first three minutes, a close-in scrum provided the platform for Faustine Piscicelli to touch down.

Piscicelli increased her influence with a well-taken second try from just inside the French half. An Irish knock-on in their own 22 gave the title holders possession, and the ball was transferred out wide for Marie Lefrancois to make it 17-0.

Corrigan was hauled down short as she threatened with an encouraging run just before half-time. Ireland did reduce the arrears in the 11th minute, though, with a terrific long-range try from Hannah Clarke (pictured above).

Deep inside the Irish 22, the 2023 Connacht U-18 Women’s Player of the Year glided around three French players and out towards the right wing where she brilliantly outpaced Kelly Arbey and raced away to the posts.

Caitriona Finn’s conversion made it a 10-point deficit, only for France to close the door on the comeback when Garance Merle broke from the back of a ruck to score and also convert.

Back on the pitch for an afternoon clash with Belgium, Wexford Wanderers’ Robyn O’Connor went close from an early blindside break. The breakthrough came in the third minute when Emma Brogan weaved through and reached out for the line.

After Murphy had intercepted a loose ball from the Belgians, Boote went quickly from a penalty to extend the lead to 10 points as Ireland continued to dominate territory.

Livewire scrum half O’Connor did most of the running and delivered the key pass to send Corrigan in under the posts in the sixth minute. Finn converted and also tagged the extras onto O’Connor’s pacy effort from just outside the Belgian 22.

It did not take long for the girls in green to improve their 24-0 interval advantage, as Finn dummied to get through a gap and Lyndsay Clarke was the beneficiary of a well-timed pass from O’Connor for try number five.

The remainder of the second half produced some scrappier exchanges, with a Tara O’Neill break the best of Ireland’s play. Belgium rallied to pull back two tries late on, scored by Mira Broeks and Lisa Goossens.

Ireland made the early running in their fifth place decider against Scotland. Brogan secured the breaking ball from the kick-off, before O’Connor sliced open the defence for a seven-pointer inside the opening minute.

Boote brought down Niamh Robertson-Jack to prevent a Scottish breakaway, and when Ireland returned to the opposition 22, O’Connor was first to a loose ball and Brogan deftly sent Corrigan over from close range.

Finn responded to O’Connor’s sin-binning for a high tackle by winning a turnover. Brogan sniped back into the 22 and offloaded neatly for the hard-working Boote to stretch the lead out to 17 points.

The ever-alert Brogan and Murphy both made good metres down the left before Corrigan slipped around the side of a ruck to complete her brace. Finn was bang on target with the conversion, leaving it 24-0 at the turnaround.

O’Connor tore in between two defenders for an impressive 70-metre run-in, with Dolphin’s Niamh Crotty converting this time. Minala Taoi replied for Scotland in the 11th minute, taking advantage of some missed tackles.

Now 31-5 to the good, Ireland seized control again with the fresh legs of replacement Hannah Clarke delivering five more points thanks to a fine jinking run from halfway.

Crotty got in on the act during the final play, raiding in behind the posts after captain Lucia Linn’s powerful carry and some nifty sidestepping from Emily Foley, who beat three defenders before providing the assist.

IRELAND UNDER-18 WOMEN’S SEVENS Squad (2023 Rugby Europe U-18 Women’s Sevens Championship, Rugby Klub Petrovice, Prague, Czechia, Saturday, July 15-Sunday, July 16):

Caitriona Finn (UL Bohemian RFC/Ballina-Killaloe RFC/Munster)
Emily Foley (Ballina RFC/Connacht)
Emma Brogan (Navan RFC/Leinster)
Hannah Clarke (Tuam/Oughterard RFC/Connacht)
Katie Corrigan (Tullow RFC/Leinster)
Lucia Linn (Loughborough University/IQ Rugby) (capt)
Lyndsay Clarke (Ennis RFC/Munster)
Molly Boote (Tuam/Oughterard RFC/Connacht)
Niamh Crotty (Dolphin RFC/Munster)
Niamh Murphy (Cill Dara RFC/Leinster)
Robyn O’Connor (Wexford Wanderers RFC/Leinster)
Tara O’Neill (Cooke RFC/Ulster)

IRELAND U-18 WOMEN’S SEVENS Schedule – Prague:

Saturday, July 15 –


IRELAND U-18s 52 POLAND U-18s 0, Rugby Klub Petrovice, Prague
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Lyndsay Clarke 2, Katie Corrigan, Hannah Clarke, Lucia Linn, Tara O’Neill, Caitriona Finn, Emily Foley; Cons: Niamh Crotty 5, Hannah Clarke
Poland: –
HT: Ireland 21 Poland 0

Watch Match Video

Team: Katie Corrigan, Lucia Linn (capt), Tara O’Neill, Emma Brogan, Niamh Crotty, Lyndsay Clarke, Hannah Clarke.

Subs used: Niamh Murphy, Emily Foley, Robyn O’Connor, Molly Boote, Caitriona Finn.

IRELAND U-18s 20 ENGLAND U-18s 26, Rugby Klub Petrovice, Prague
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Emily Foley, Molly Boote 2, Lucia Linn
England: Tries: Millie Hyett, Daisy Aspinall, Amelia MacDougal, Eryn Sinkler-Bermingham; Cons: Millie Hyett, Amelia MacDougal, Lauren Bailey
HT: Ireland 10 England 0

Watch Match Video

Team: Caitriona Finn, Molly Boote, Lucia Linn (capt), Robyn O’Connor, Niamh Crotty, Emily Foley, Hannah Clarke.

Subs used: Katie Corrigan, Emma Brogan. Not used: Tara O’Neill, Niamh Murphy, Lyndsay Clarke.


IRELAND U-18s 40 BELGIUM U-18s 0, Rugby Klub Petrovice, Prague
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Tara O’Neill, Lyndsay Clarke, Katie Corrigan 2, Hannah Clarke, Niamh Crotty; Cons: Caitriona Finn 3, Niamh Crotty 2
Belgium: –
HT: Ireland 14 Belgium 0

Watch Match Video

Team: Niamh Murphy, Katie Corrigan, Tara O’Neill, Robyn O’Connor, Caitriona Finn, Emma Brogan, Lyndsay Clarke.

Subs used: Lucia Linn (capt), Hannah Clarke, Emily Foley, Niamh Crotty.

Day 1 Round-Up: Ireland U-18 Women’s Sevens Team Challenging For Top Four Finish

Sunday, July 16 –


FRANCE U-18s 24 IRELAND U-18s 7, Rugby Klub Petrovice, Prague
Scorers: France: Tries: Faustine Piscicelli 2, Marie Lefrancois, Garance Merle; Cons: Suliana Sivi, Garance Merle
Ireland: Try: Hannah Clarke; Con: Caitriona Finn
HT: France 17 Ireland 0

Watch Match Video

Team: Katie Corrigan, Lucia Linn (capt), Niamh Murphy, Robyn O’Connor, Niamh Crotty, Molly Boote, Hannah Clarke.

Subs used: Caitriona Finn, Emma Brogan, Emily Foley, Tara O’Neill. Not used: Lyndsay Clarke.


IRELAND U-18s 29 BELGIUM U-18s 14, Rugby Klub Petrovice, Prague
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Emma Brogan, Molly Boote, Katie Corrigan, Robyn O’Connor, Lyndsay Clarke; Cons: Caitriona Finn 2
Belgium: Tries: Mira Broeks, Lisa Goossens; Cons: Nina Jacquemot 2
HT: Ireland 24 Belgium 0

Watch Match Video

Team: Katie Corrigan, Molly Boote, Niamh Murphy, Robyn O’Connor, Caitriona Finn, Lyndsay Clarke, Emma Brogan.

Subs used: Emily Foley, Tara O’Neill, Lucia Linn (capt), Niamh Crotty, Hannah Clarke.

IRELAND U-18s 43 SCOTLAND U-18s 5, Rugby Klub Petrovice, Prague
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Robyn O’Connor 2, Katie Corrigan 2, Molly Boote, Hannah Clarke, Niamh Crotty; Cons: Caitriona Finn 2, Niamh Crotty 2
Scotland: Try: Minala Taoi
HT: Ireland 24 Scotland 0

Watch Match Video

Team: Katie Corrigan, Molly Boote, Niamh Murphy, Robyn O’Connor, Caitriona Finn, Lyndsay Clarke, Emma Brogan.

Subs used: Niamh Crotty, Hannah Clarke, Lucia Linn (capt), Tara O’Neill, Emily Foley.