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Ireland Women Still In Hamburg Hunt Despite Opening Defeats

Ireland Women Still In Hamburg Hunt Despite Opening Defeats

Ireland Women Still In Hamburg Hunt Despite Opening Defeats

Ireland scrum half Emily Lane is pictured in action during the opening day of the Hamburg Sevens ©Jan Perlich/Rugby Europe

The Ireland Women’s Sevens team (sponsored by TritonLake) will aim to put two disappointing losses behind them when they resume their Hamburg Sevens campaign against Portugal tomorrow morning.

Ireland’s error count was high in their first two games, despite Vicky Elmes Kinlan providing some spark with two tries off the bench. They lost 28-17 to Czechia before shipping a 26-14 defeat to Pool B leaders France.

Captain Lucy Rock is the only player from the selected Olympic squad that is not in Hamburg. Head coach Allan Temple-Jones went with a strong selection for the Rugby Europe Sevens Championship’s final leg, with the Paris Games now just four weeks away.

Led by Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe this weekend, Ireland can still go through to the Hamburg quarter-finals as one of the best third place finishers. A win is vital against Portugal tomorrow (kick-off 9.36am Irish time – live on Rugby Europe TV).

Despite Czechia retaining possession from the kick-off, a Béibhinn Parsons turnover, coupled with a subsequent break downfield from Emily Lane, got Ireland on the front foot and they opened the scoring inside two minutes.

Murphy Crowe used a strong fend to touch down on the left, profiting from quick ruck ball that was secured by Megan Burns and fed wide by Erin King. Burns was soon on the way for a second try, but was pulled back for a forward pass from Lane.

Indeed it was Czechia who finished the first half on a stronger footing. A powerful set of attacking phases ended with Kristyna Plevova bouncing off Ashleigh Orchard’s attempted tackle to send Anezka-Marta Sladkova over to the right of the posts.

Julie Dolezilova’s conversion edged her side in front, and she also added the extras to Julie Durychova’s late score. Taking advantage of Stacey Flood’s yellow card for a deliberate knock-on, Durychova showed a good turn of pace from a scrum to make it 14-5.

Czechia continued to look the sharper outfit on the resumption, with a couple of errors from Eve Higgins handing them back possession. Kristyna Riegertova drew in two defenders and offloaded neatly for Sladkova to put 16 points between the sides.

Flood and Higgins lifted the tempo on the back of two penalties, and there was space on the right for Parsons to send Lane over in the 12th minute. Higgins missed the conversion on the near side.

Kathy Baker made her return from injury, popping up with an assist as fellow replacement Elmes Kinlan used her quick feet to make it in behind the posts with 13 minutes on the clock. Higgins’ conversion left just four points in it.

However, Czechia stung the girls in green with an impressive match-winning try. Riegertova broke from inside her own 22, getting outside Baker, and she had the wheels to make it all the way to the whitewash despite Murphy Crowe’s committed chase.

Higgins came into the starting line-up for the clash with France, and despite a good start, Ireland fell behind after two-and-a-half minutes. An offside penalty allowed the French to attack out to the right where Yolaine Yengo put Ian Jason over.

Temple-Jones’ charges lost a scrum platform, coughing up a free-kick which their opponents took quickly. Burns was beaten to Shannon Izar’s kick through by Lou Noel, and Yengo picked from the ruck to crash in under the posts.

Parsons immediately lifted her team-mates with a brilliant break from deep, only for her pass to be knocked on by the supporting Murphy Crowe, and it remained a 12-point deficit.

France’s lead was extended just before half-time, as they clinically scored from a scrum in their own half. Lina Guerin handed off Murphy Crowe on the left wing and darted clear for an excellent solo effort, converted by Izar.

It was Parsons again who provided the inspiration for Ireland, early in the second period. She was quick off the mark to break past Jason and score from halfway in breathless fashion. Higgins’ extras closed the gap to 19-7.

Anne-Cecile Ciofani was sprung from the French bench and put her name to the decisive 11th-minute try. She profited from quick ruck ball to raid over from the edge of the Irish 22, with Yengo converting to restore the 19-point gap.

France were twice down to six players late on, with Montserrat Amedee and Seraphine Okemba both seeing yellow. Elmes Kinlan, who had done really well to deny Ciofani a second try, showed her finishing skills with a classy closing seven-pointer from inside her own half.

You can watch all the action live from Hamburg on Rugby Europe TV here.

IRELAND WOMEN’S SEVENS Squad (2024 Rugby Europe Men’s Sevens Championship Leg 2 – Hamburg Sevens, Sportpark Steinwiesenweg, Hamburg, Germany, Friday, June 28-Sunday, June 30, 2024):

Kathy Baker (Blackrock College RFC)
Claire Boles (Railway Union 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)
Eve Higgins (Railway Union RFC)
Erin King (Old Belvedere RFC)
Vicky Elmes Kinlan (Wicklow RFC)
Emily Lane (Blackrock College RFC)
Amy Larn (Athy RFC/MU Barnhall RFC)
Ashleigh Orchard (Cooke RFC)
Béibhinn Parsons (Blackrock College RFC)

IRELAND WOMEN’S SEVENS Schedule – Hamburg Sevens, Rugby Europe Sevens Championship Leg 2:

Friday, June 28 –


CZECHIA 28 IRELAND 17, Sportpark Steinwiesenweg, Hamburg
Scorers: Czechia: Tries: Anezka-Marta Sladkova 2, Julie Durychova, Kristyna Riegertova; Cons: Julie Dolezilova 4
Ireland: Tries: Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, Emily Lane, Vicky Elmes Kinlan; Con: Eve Higgins
HT: Czechia 14 Ireland 5

Watch Match Replay

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

Replacements used: Eve Higgins, Vicky Elmes Kinlan, Kathy Baker. Not used: Amy Larn, Alanna Fitzpatrick.

FRANCE 26 IRELAND 14, Sportpark Steinwiesenweg, Hamburg
Scorers: France: Tries: Ian Jason, Yolaine Yengo, Lina Guerin, Anne-Cecile Ciofani; Cons: Shannon Izar 2, Yolaine Yengo
Ireland: Tries: Béibhinn Parsons, Vicky Elmes Kinlan; Cons: Eve Higgins 2
HT: France 19 Ireland 0

Watch Match Replay

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

Replacements used: Vicky Elmes Kinlan, Alanna Fitzpatrick, Claire Boles, Amy Larn. Not used: Ashleigh Orchard.

Saturday, June 29 –


IRELAND v PORTUGAL, Sportpark Steinwiesenweg, Hamburg, 10.36am local time/9.36am Irish time


Sunday, June 30 –