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Murphy Crowe Floors Fiji With Classy Hat-Trick In Madrid Heat

Murphy Crowe Floors Fiji With Classy Hat-Trick In Madrid Heat

Murphy Crowe Floors Fiji With Classy Hat-Trick In Madrid Heat

Ireland Sevens star Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe is closing in on 200 career tries on the HSBC SVNS Series circuit ©INPHO/Martin Seras Lima

Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe’s electric hat-trick of tries ensured a winning finish to day two of the HSBC SVNS Grand Final for the Ireland Women’s Sevens team (sponsored by TritonLake).

Ireland fell out of contention for the top prize in Madrid after losing 31-5 to third seeds France, but then came from 12 points down to beat Fiji 26-19 and move on to tomorrow’s 5th place semi-finals with some decent momentum.

Teenage winger Katie Corrigan got on to make her senior Sevens debut, coming off the bench in both matches, while this morning’s disappointing defeat to France was compounded by the loss of Aoibheann Reilly to injury.

Having finished third in Pool B, Ireland will meet Great Britain, the bottom-placed team from Pool A, tomorrow morning at 10.05am local time/9.05am Irish time (live on RugbyPass TV).

Stand-in captain Murphy Crowe, Ireland’s record try scorer, continues to lead by example in the injury-enforced absence of Lucy Rock (née Mulhall). The Tipperary speedster ran in five tries during the pool stages, taking her SVNS Series career total to 195 in 226 games.

Adi vani Buleki tapped back the kick-off from her skipper Lavena Cavuru, setting the wheels in motion for Fiji to strike after just 19 seconds. Some smart offloading led to Ilisapeci Delaiwau dotting down just to the left of the posts.

Cavuru converted her own second-minute try, which saw her break off a scrum and dummy her way in under the posts. That left Ireland with a dozen points to claw back, and it was Murphy Crowe who set the tone with a quick-fire response.

Stacey Flood broke past halfway, and her pass went backwards off Megan Burns before Murphy Crowe collected it on the bounce and accelerated clear to score. Flood converted and her restart kick was then gobbled up by a soaring Murphy Crowe.

The in-form winger increased her influence with a fifth-minute try, using an Erin King pass to cut inside Younis Bese and score again from just inside her own half. Flood’s conversion took the girls in green ahead for the first time.

Béibhinn Parsons soon raced through for her first try of the tournament, swerving inside the cover after Flood was first to a loose ball on the ground and the supporting King provided her second assist of the first half.

Armed with a 19-12 advantage, Flood’s second half kick-off unfortunately just failed to make 10 metres, and Cavuru used the possession to send Ana Maria Naimasi hurtling over for the levelling try to give Fijiana a big boost.

When they came hunting again, King made an important tackle on the edge of the Irish 22 and Murphy Crowe got in for a turnover penalty. The 29-year-old soon popped up in attack, using Flood’s inside pass, and her own strong fend, to burst clear for another try from distance.

Flood’s left boot gave Allan Temple-Jones’ side a seven-point buffer with just over three minutes remaining. Their defence did the rest, Vicky Elmes Kinlan hauling down the fast-breaking Cavuru, with Corrigan also covering well, and then Flood forced a final knock-on from Verenaisi Ditavutu.

Earlier on during the morning session, France were first on the board inside the opening two minutes. Some patient build-up play ended with Alycia Christiaens having just enough room to avoid Emily Lane’s diving tackle – and the right touchline – to make it 5-0.

Industrious forward King was prominent with her strong carrying and breakdown work, the latter of which drew a penalty and a yellow card for France’s Valentine Lothoz who was guilty of throwing the ball away after the whistle.

Lane broke swiftly from the resulting scrum, and a further penalty saw Flood go quickly. A spread of passes led to Burns’ crisp delivery which sent Murphy Crowe over on the right to bring Ireland level.

Les Bleues made it 10-5 just before half-time, however, as Seraphine Okemba and skipper Carla Neisen built momentum in midfield, and the returning Lothoz was able to release Christiaens to complete her brace.

Despite Temple-Jones’ charges continuing to match France physically, Yolaine Yengo gave her team another timely lift with a breakaway try inside a minute of the restart, pushing the lead out to 17-5.

Bringing impact off the French bench, the experienced Anne-Cecile Ciofani drew in two defenders and sent Okemba over in the 11th minute, despite the try scorer losing a boot to a tackle from Eve Higgins.

Ireland’s growing sense of frustration was added to when replacement scrum half Reilly, leading a defensive chase, fell awkwardly and injured herself. Play continued and Lothoz used an overlap on the left to tee up the final try for the pacy Okemba.

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

IRELAND WOMEN’S SEVENS Squad (2024 HSBC SVNS Grand Final – Estadio Cívitas Metropolitano, Madrid, Friday, May 31-Sunday, June 2, 2024):

Megan Burns (Blackrock College RFC)
Katie Corrigan (Old Belvedere RFC) *
Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe (Railway Union RFC) (capt)
Stacey Flood (Railway Union RFC)
Eve Higgins (Railway Union RFC)
Erin King (Old Belvedere RFC)
Vicky Elmes Kinlan (Wicklow RFC)
Emily Lane (Blackrock College RFC)
Kate Farrell McCabe (Suttonians RFC)
Anna McGann (Railway Union RFC)
Ashleigh Orchard (Cooke RFC)
Béibhinn Parsons (Blackrock College RFC)
Aoibheann Reilly (Blackrock College RFC)

* Denotes uncapped player

IRELAND WOMEN’S SEVENS Schedule – HSBC SVNS Grand Final – Madrid:

Friday, May 31 –


AUSTRALIA 33 IRELAND 14, Estadio Cívitas Metropolitano, Madrid
Scorers: Australia: Tries: Teagan Levi 2, Charlotte Caslick, Maddison Levi 2; Cons: Tia Hinds 3, Teagn Levi
Ireland: Tries: Eve Higgins, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe; Cons: Stacey Flood 2
HT: Australia 14 Ireland 14

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

Replacements used: Aoibheann Reilly, Vicky Elmes Kinlan, Ashleigh Orchard. Not used: Kate Farrell McCabe, Anna McGann.

Day 1 Round-Up: Yellow Card Proves Costly As Ireland Women Lose Madrid Opener

Saturday, June 1 –


FRANCE 31 IRELAND 5, Estadio Cívitas Metropolitano, Madrid
Scorers: France: Tries: Alycia Christiaens 2, Yolaine Yengo, Seraphine Okemba 2; Cons: Yolaine Yengo 2, Montserrat Amedee
Ireland: Try: Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe
HT: France 10 Ireland 5

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

Replacements used: Vicky Elmes Kinlan, Aoibheann Reilly, Kate Farrell McCabe, Anna McGann, Katie Corrigan.

FIJI 19 IRELAND 26, Estadio Cívitas Metropolitano, Madrid
Scorers: Fiji: Tries: Ilisapeci Delaiwau, Lavena Cavuru, Ana Maria Naimasi; Cons: Lavena Cavuru 2
Ireland: Tries: Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe 3, Béibhinn Parsons; Cons: Stacey Flood 3
HT: Fiji 12 Ireland 19

Team: Béibhinn Parsons, Ashleigh Orchard, Erin King, Emily Lane, Stacey Flood, Megan Burns, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe (capt).

Replacements used: Vicky Elmes Kinlan, Eve Higgins, Katie Corrigan. Not used: Kate Farrell McCabe, Anna McGann.

Sunday, June 2 –


IRELAND v GREAT BRITAIN, Estadio Cívitas Metropolitano, Madrid, 10.05am local time/9.05am Irish time