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Farrell McCabe Injury Mars Positive Start For Ireland Women

Farrell McCabe Injury Mars Positive Start For Ireland Women

Farrell McCabe Injury Mars Positive Start For Ireland Women

Portarlington teenager Alanna Fitzpatrick (19) was in try-scoring form for the Ireland Women at the Makarska Sevens in Croatia ©INPHO/Joe Hamby

Alanna Fitzpatrick and Amy Larn scored three tries each as a youthful Ireland Women’s Sevens team (sponsored by TritonLake) won their first two pool matches at the Makarska Sevens.

The sundrenched Croatian coastal city of Makarska is the venue for the first leg of the Rugby Europe Women’s Sevens Championship, and Ireland have started the tournament with wins over Czechia (24-22) and Türkiye (31-12).

Reg Tayler, Ireland Sevens assistant coach and Development Programme lead coach, has the coaching reins for the weekend, but in a significant blow, Kate Farrell McCabe suffered a worrying ankle injury during the game against Türkiye.

Farrell McCabe, a HSBC SVNS Series regular, was stepping up as captain, using her experience in a squad that contains three teenagers in Fitzpatrick, Larn, and Katie Corrigan, as well as Munster’s Aoife Corey, on her Ireland Sevens debut.

Without the injured Farrell McCabe, the Ireland Women face a tough Pool A decider against France tomorrow (kick-off 12.20pm local time/11.20am Irish time – live on www.rugbyeurope.tv). Those back-to-back victories have already booked their quarter-final berth.

As the local church bells sounded, it was Czechia who snatched an early lead thanks to Julie Dolezilova’s turnover, near the right touchline, and offload back inside for Kristyna Riegertova to register the opening five points.

By the third minute, Ireland had edged in front after Fitzpatrick cut inside two defenders, handed off another and stayed clear of the chasing Anezka-Marta Sladkova for a brilliant breakaway score, converted by Farrell McCabe.

Portarlington youngster Fitzpatrick then shrugged off Sladkova twice to score from outside the Czech 22, as the girls in green picked up a first-phase score from a lineout. However, Sladkova closed the gap to 14-10 for half-time when finishing off a well-executed attack in the left corner.

Farrell McCabe opened her try account inside two minutes of the restart. She opted for a scrum from a penalty inside Czechia’s 22, and Anna McGann made a good incision on the left, offloading for her skipper to neatly snipe over and extend the lead back to nine points.

Dolezilova had the pace to get outside Corrigan, converting her own try to reduce the arrears to 19-17, only for Ireland to respond quickly with their fourth try which came from some smart interplay.

Corrigan and Clare Gorman both made inroads past halfway, the latter benefiting from Claire Boles’ well-timed offload. Fitzpatrick then set up a ruck just inside the Czech 22 before Athy native Larn attacked from the base, stepping inside Julie Durychova to score to the left of the posts.

There was just a conversion in it in the end, though, as the impressive Dolezilova took a quick tap and evaded the clutches of Fitzpatrick to score a last-gasp try. Her difficult conversion was well wide, leaving Ireland to reflect on a win that was a little too close for comfort.

A strong start for Ireland against Türkiye saw two tries swiftly chalked up. McGann claimed the first of them, using a couple of hand-offs to cross to the right of the posts after Corrigan’s initial leg-pumping run had sent the defence backwards.

Larn straightened up an attack, which Lucinda Kinghan had launched from her second turnover penalty win, to zoom in under the posts in the third minute. Farrell McCabe knocked over the extras for a 12-0 lead.

Gamze Aksoy showed good pace to pull back five points for Türkiye, who grew into the first half as it wore on. They hauled down McGann for a turnover, and when Aksoy launched a kick chase, it was McGann who saw yellow for what was deemed a high tackle.

Corrigan and Farrell McCabe carried well nearing the interval, but the latter unfortunately injure her left ankle when being tackled. Play continued with Ireland down to five players, and Türkiye took advantage as Sedanur Bolat’s converted try drew them level.

Gorman provided the early spark in the second half, forcing the Turkish side backwards, and then Fitzpatrick sliced her way through a gap for a fine 45-metre run-in. Gorman converted to make it 19-12.

The Old Belvedere connection was in full flow when replacement Emma Tilly combined with Gorman to send Corrigan scampering away from Fatmanur Diril, with the winger’s well-taken try also converted by Gorman.

Fitzpatrick pulled off an excellent try-saving tackle to bring down Ayca Akcinar and win turnover ball in the process. Vikki Wall muscled through a couple of tackles, getting her offload away, before Corey sent Larn darting away from the Irish 10-metre line for the closing score.

IRELAND WOMEN’S SEVENS Squad (2024 Rugby Europe Women’s Sevens Championship Leg 1 – Makarska Sevens, City Sports Centre, Makarska, Croatia, Friday, June 7-Sunday, June 9, 2024):

Kathy Baker (Blackrock College RFC)
Natasja Behan (Blackrock College RFC)
Claire Boles (Railway Union RFC)
Aoife Corey (UL Bohemian RFC) *
Katie Corrigan (Old Belvedere RFC)
Alanna Fitzpatrick (Portarlington RFC/Blackrock College RFC)
Clare Gorman (Old Belvedere RFC)
Lucinda Kinghan (Railway Union RFC)
Amy Larn (Athy RFC/MU Barnhall RFC)
Kate Farrell McCabe (Suttonians RFC) (capt)
Anna McGann (Railway Union RFC)
Emma Tilly (MU Barnhall RFC/Old Belvedere RFC)
Vikki Wall (Ireland Sevens)

* Denotes uncapped player

IRELAND WOMEN’S SEVENS Schedule – Makarska Sevens, Rugby Europe Sevens Championship Leg 1:

Friday, June 7 –


IRELAND 24 CZECHIA 22, City Sports Centre, Makarska
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Alanna Fitzpatrick 2, Kate Farrell McCabe, Amy Larn; Cons: Kate Farrell McCabe 2
Czechia: Tries: Kristyna Riegertova, Anezka-Marta Sladkova, Julie Dolezilova 2; Con: Julie Dolezilova
HT: Ireland 14 Czechia 10

Watch Match Replay

Team: Anna McGann, Vikki Wall, Clare Gorman, Amy Larn, Kate Farrell McCabe (capt), Alanna Fitzpatrick, Katie Corrigan.

Replacements used: Claire Boles, Lucinda Kinghan, Emma Tilly. Not used: Natasja Behan, Aoife Corey.

IRELAND 31 TURKIYE 12, City Sports Centre, Makarska
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Anna McGann, Amy Larn 2, Alanna Fitzpatrick, Katie Corrigan; Cons: Kate Farrell McCabe, Clare Gorman 2
Türkiye: Tries: Gamze Aksoy, Sedanur Bolat; Con: Mihriban Dilmac
HT: Ireland 12 Türkiye 12

Watch Match Replay

Team: Anna McGann, Lucinda Kinghan, Clare Gorman, Amy Larn, Kate Farrell McCabe (capt), Alanna Fitzpatrick, Katie Corrigan.

Replacements used: Emma Tilly, Vikki Wall, Claire Boles, Natasja Behan, Aoife Corey.

Saturday, June 8 –


FRANCE v IRELAND, City Sports Centre, Makarska, kick-off 12.20pm local time/11.20am Irish time


Sunday, June 9 –