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Murphy Crowe Returns With Crucial Tries For Ireland Women

Murphy Crowe Returns With Crucial Tries For Ireland Women

Murphy Crowe Returns With Crucial Tries For Ireland Women

Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, Ireland's captain for the weekend, is pictured in action against South Africa on the first day of the Cathay/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens ©INPHO/Martin Seras Lima

Stepping up as captain, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe returned from injury with a brace of tries in Ireland’s 20-7 win over South Africa during the opening session of the Cathay/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens.

In Pics: Ireland Sevens – Day 1 Action From Hong Kong

Murphy Crowe, who missed last month’s LA 7s with an injured right hand, picked up her 17th and 18th tries of the campaign as the Ireland Women’s Sevens squad (sponsored by TritonLake) made a winning start in Hong Kong.

The Tipperary speedster is also captaining the team for this latest leg of the HSBC SVNS Series, as Lucy Rock remains sidelined. Some of the other regulars are also on Six Nations duty, and their absence was felt during a 35-0 defeat to Series leaders Australia.

Allan Temple-Jones’ young side lie third in Pool B with three points, just one behind Fiji whom they face in a crunch encounter tomorrow morning (kick-off 11.02am local time/4.02am Irish time) when the Cup quarter-finalists will be confirmed.

You can watch all of the HSBC SVNS Series matches for free on RugbyPass TV or on TNT Sports, while there will be coverage of Ireland’s progress in Hong Kong across the @Ireland7s social media channels, and in our Ireland Sevens Hub.

Erin King tapped back the South African kick-off, and Ireland’s patient build-up play was rewarded with an early try. King and Megan Burns both evaded tackles before Stacey Flood sniped over from a ruck on the edge of the opposition 22.

The playmaking Dubliner soon turned provider in the fifth minute. Again, she glided into space off the side of a ruck, dangling a 40-metre kick through which sat up nicely for Murphy Crowe to open her Hong Kong account.

Nonetheless, with Nadine Roos a threatening runner, a late turnover allowed South Africa to hit back on the stroke of half-time. Big forward Shona-Leah Weston stretched out to score under the posts, ahead of the chasing Emily Lane and Murphy Crowe.

With their lead cut to 10-7, Ireland had to absorb some further pressure from the Springbok Women early in the second half. Burns pounced on a knock-on to send Murphy Crowe up towards halfway, and it was Vicky Elmes Kinlan who surged clear from a ruck for a 60-metre run-in.

Natasja Behan, back for her first Sevens involvement since December’s Cape Town leg, made her presence felt off the bench, winning Kate Farrell McCabe’s restart and carrying twice in quick succession.

Farrell McCabe then broke down the short side of a scrum, and when play moved to the opposite wing, King fed Murphy Crowe whose quick footwork took her past Alichia Arries to make it a 13-point winning margin.

Speaking in the aftermath, Murphy Crowe said: “That was a really important performance for us. It’s been about four weeks since LA, and the disappointment we had throughout those two tournaments, so we really wanted to start off on the right foot here in Hong Kong.

“I thought the girls worked their socks off. The work-rate that they put on out there was outstanding, and they really only put me away into the corners. It’s a credit to them, they work so hard in the middle of the pitch.

“Even the impact we had coming off the bench, credit to them too. It’s only the start of the weekend, we know Sevens is a brutal sport. We’ve two more big games coming up and hopefully we’ll go well this weekend.”

Meath native Vikki Wall was brought into the starting line-up for the second round clash with Australia. She followed up Flood’s kick-off with a power-packed tackle on Bridget Clark to force a knock-on.

However, Australia earned a penalty at the scrum and took a second-minute lead when Maddison Levi was sent striding clear by Charlotte Caslick’s inviting pass off her left.

The younger Levi sister, Teagan, nipped in between Lane and Murphy Crowe to double the lead to 14 points. Her try came slightly against the run of play as Wall, Flood, and Elmes Kinlan had made strong carries to give the girls in green some decent field position.

Just before the interval, Biene Terita broke away from Flood to make it three converted tries for Australia from as many visits to the Irish 22. Flood and Tia Hinds exchanged turnover penalties as the second period got off to a pacy start.

Maddison Levi was picked out by Sariah Paki for a well-crafted 11th-minute score, converted by her sibling, and teenager Ruby Nicholas wrapped up the result with a breakaway effort on her debut.

Ireland did close out on the match on the front foot, with Lucinda Kinghan making a big break from deep. Fellow replacement Alanna Fitzpatrick also made inroads into the Australian 22, but a subsequent Behan pass missed Fitzpatrick out wide and the chance was gone.

IRELAND WOMEN’S SEVENS Squad (2024 HSBC SVNS Series – Cathay/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, Hong Kong Stadium, Friday, April 5-Sunday, April 7, 2024):

Natasja Behan (Blackrock College RFC)
Megan Burns (Blackrock College RFC)
Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe (Railway Union RFC) (capt)
Alanna Fitzpatrick (Portarlington RFC/Blackrock College RFC)
Stacey Flood (Railway Union RFC)
Clare Gorman (Old Belvedere RFC) *
Katie Heffernan (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)
Vikki Wall (Ireland Sevens)

* Denotes uncapped player at SVNS Series level

IRELAND WOMEN’S SEVENS Schedule – HSBC SVNS Series – Hong Kong:

Friday, April 5 –


SOUTH AFRICA 7 IRELAND 20, Hong Kong Stadium
Scorers: South Africa: Try: Shona-Leah Weston; Con: Nadine Roos
Ireland: Tries: Stacey Flood, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe 2, Vicky Elmes Kinlan
HT: South Africa 7 Ireland 10

Team: Vicky Elmes Kinlan, Katie Heffernan, Erin King, Emily Lane, Stacey Flood, Megan Burns, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe (capt).

Replacements used: Kate Farrell McCabe, Lucinda Kinghan, Natasja Behan, Vicky Wall. Not used: Alanna Fitzpatrick.

AUSTRALIA 35 IRELAND 0, Hong Kong Stadium
Scorers: Australia: Tries: Maddison Levi 2, Teagan Levi, Bienne Terita, Ruby Nicholas; Cons: Teagan Levi 3, Tia Hinds 2
Ireland: –
HT: Australia 21 Ireland 0

Team: Vicky Elmes Kinlan, Katie Heffernan, Vikki Wall, Emily Lane, Stacey Flood, Megan Burns, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe (capt).

Replacements used: Lucinda Kinghan, Natasja Behan, Erin King, Kate Farrell McCabe, Alanna Fitzpatrick.

Saturday, April 6 –


IRELAND v FIJI, Hong Kong Stadium, 11.02am local time/4.02am Irish time


Sunday, April 7 –