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Ireland Women Aim To Put Pool Disappointment Behind Them In Vancouver

Ireland Women Aim To Put Pool Disappointment Behind Them In Vancouver

Ireland Women Aim To Put Pool Disappointment Behind Them In Vancouver

The Ireland Women's Sevens team have won two of their four matches so far at the HSBC SVNS Series tournament in Vancouver ©INPHO/Travis Prior

Having failed to reach the Cup quarter-finals, the Ireland Women (sponsored by TritonLake) recovered to beat Great Britain 21-7 as they look to finish the HSBC SVNS Series leg in Vancouver on a positive note.

On BC Place’s artificial pitch, Ireland struggled to show the form which made them Perth champions last month. They ended the pool stages with a rare 24-7 defeat to Brazil, and a heavy 43-5 loss at the hands of New Zealand.

Their weekend had started with a strong performance when overcoming South Africa 28-7, but the absence of injured star Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe was keenly felt as ninth-ranked Brazil ended a 17-match losing streak against the girls in green.

Despite a superb solo score from Béibhinn Parsons, the Black Ferns Sevens were much too strong, and a couple of their late tries edged Ireland out of contention for the Cup quarter-finals, and into the lower bracket for the first time since 2021.

Allan Temple-Jones’ charges finished third in Pool A on three points (with a -34 scoring difference), but Spain, also on three points in Pool C, moved on to the last-eight thanks to a superior scoring difference of -22.

With captain Lucy Rock (nee Mulhall) rallying her troops, they managed to return to winning ways against Britain. It leaves them playing for ninth place against Japan tomorrow (kick-off 10.59am local time/6.59pm Irish time – live on RugbyPass TV).

Ireland will take some momentum into that play-off after pulling clear of Britain in the second half. Neither team could create much early on, with Parsons well marshalled and Lauren Torley knocking on in some space on the opposite wing.

Most of the play was crammed in either side of Ireland’s 22-metre line, with Britain managing to starve their neighbours of territory. It was tit-for-tat with Rock’s cross-field kick picking out Parsons, before Jasmine Joyce hit back with a big hand-off on Lane.

The Cork native dushed herself off and subsequently opened the scoring in slick fashion. She dummied off a ruck just inside the British half, nipping in between two defenders and accelerating clear for Rock to convert.

The GB outfit began the second half by quickly levelling matters at seven-all. A 50-50 penalty call went their way, and Jade Shekells’ well-timed offload put Ellie Boatman breaking away from Eve Higgins to score, to the right of the posts.

Nonetheless, with 10 minutes on the clock, Higgins was invited inside by Kate Farrell McCabe’s switch play and she slipped out of Torley’s tackle and outpaced Isla Norman-Bell from 40 metres out.

Rock converted and also added the extras to fellow Wicklow woman Vicky Elmes Kinlan’s match-winning try. The newly-turned 21-year-old shrugged off Norman-Bell to speed away towards the posts.

Ireland tightened up their defence for the remainder of the contest, pinning Britain back, and the 14-point winning margin was confirmed when replacement Lucinda Kinghan got over the ball to win a final penalty at the breakdown.

Earlier on, Ireland had been very much second best against New Zealand. Last year’s Vancouver champions broke into a 22-0 lead by half-time, with Shiray Kaka, Michaela Blyde, and Risi Pouri-Lane (2) all crossing the whitewash.

New Zealand’s long restarts, courtesy of Tyla King, and sharp attacking play were causing problems for Ireland, but Parsons provided some much-needed inspiration with an unconverted score inside a minute of the restart.

Lane invited her to take on the great Portia Woodman-Wickliffe, on the left wing, and she outfoxed her with some smart footwork and a fend to dart clear, also evading the chasing Jorja Miller to run in one of the tries of the tournament.

22-5 was as good as it got for Ireland, though, as good work from Kaka put Blyde bursting away from her own 22 to complete her brace. Replacements Tysha Ikenasio and Miller tagged on two closing tries, with the latter raiding in under the posts on the back of a turnover penalty.

You can watch all of the HSBC SVNS Series matches for free on RugbyPass TV, while there will be coverage of Ireland’s progress in Vancouver across the new @Ireland7s social media channels, and in our Ireland Sevens hub: irishrugby.ie/ireland7s.

IRELAND WOMEN’S SEVENS Squad (HSBC SVNS Series – Vancouver 7s, BC Place, Vancouver, Friday, February 23-Sunday, February 25, 2024):

Megan Burns (Blackrock College RFC)
Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe (Railway Union RFC)
Stacey Flood (Railway Union RFC)
Eve Higgins (Railway Union RFC)
Erin King (Old Belvedere RFC)
Lucinda Kinghan (Railway Union RFC)
Vicky Elmes Kinlan (Wicklow RFC)
Emily Lane (Blackrock College RFC)
Kate Farrell McCabe (Suttonians RFC)
Lucy Rock (nee Mulhall) (Wicklow RFC) (capt)
Béibhinn Parsons (Blackrock College RFC)
Aoibheann Reilly (Blackrock College RFC)
Vikki Wall (Ireland Sevens)

IRELAND WOMEN’S SEVENS Schedule – HSBC SVNS Series – Vancouver:

Friday, February 23 –


Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe 2, Stacey Flood, Béibhinn Parsons; Cons: Lucy Rock 4
South Africa: Try: Nadine Roos; Con: Nadine Roos
HT: Ireland 14 South Africa 0

Team: Béibhinn Parsons, Stacey Flood, Vicky Elmes Kinlan, Aoibheann Reilly, Lucy Rock (capt), Megan Burns, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe.

Replacements used: Eve Higgins, Emily Lane, Erin King, Lucinda Kinghan. Not used: Kate Farrell McCabe.

Scorers: Ireland: Try: Béibhinn Parsons; Con: Lucy Rock
Brazil: Tries: Bianca Silva, Thalia Costa 2, Gabriela Lima; Cons: Luiza Campos 2
HT: Ireland 0 Brazil 12

Team: Béibhinn Parsons, Stacey Flood, Eve Higgins, Aoibheann Reilly, Lucy Rock (capt), Megan Burns, Vicky Elmes Kinlan.

Replacements used: Emily Lane, Erin King, Kate Farrell McCabe. Not used: Lucinda Kinghan, Vikki Wall.

Saturday, February 24 –


Scorers: Ireland: Try: Béibhinn Parsons
New Zealand: Tries: Shiray Kaka, Michaela Blyde 2, Risi Pouri-Lane 2, Tysha Ikenasio, Jorja Miller; Cons: Tyla King 2, Manaia Nuku 2
HT: Ireland 0 New Zealand 22

Team: Béibhinn Parsons, Stacey Flood, Eve Higgins, Emily Lane, Lucy Rock (capt), Megan Burns, Vicky Elmes Kinlan.

Replacements used: Erin King, Aoibheann Reilly, Kate Farrell McCabe, Vikki Wall, Lucinda Kinghan.


Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Emily Lane, Eve Higgins, Vicky Elmes Kinlan; Cons: Lucy Rock 3
Great Britain: Try: Ellie Boatman; Con: Isla Norman-Bell
HT: Ireland 7 Great Britain 0

Team: Béibhinn Parsons, Stacey Flood, Eve Higgins, Emily Lane, Lucy Rock (capt), Megan Burns, Vicky Elmes Kinlan.

Replacements used: Erin King, Kate Farrell McCabe, Aoibheann Reilly, Lucinda Kinghan. Not used: Vikki Wall.

Sunday, February 25 –


JAPAN v IRELAND, BC Place, 10.59am local time/6.59pm Irish time