A surprise win for France and a big win for Australia earlier in the day left Ireland needing to score over 60 points in this game if they were to progress to the top four playoffs.
Tries from Niamh Briggs, Louise Beamish, Orla Brennan, Eliza Downey, Kate O’Loughlin and another Joy Neville brace gave Ireland hope, but they couldn’t score the required number of points to stay in contention for the best second placed spot across the three pools.
Ireland started with great intent and Niamh Briggs was over in 2 minutes after an early break by Eliza Downey.
However, Kazakhstan put up some resistance and it was another 15 minutes before Ireland crossed again, this time Joy Neville going over, off the back of a ruck, for her first of the day. Briggs converted to push the score along to 12 – 0.
Ireland continued to take on the physical Kazakhstan side through their forwards and another series of pick and drives saw Louise Beamish hit the line for Ireland’s third, which went unconverted.
A break by Jo O’Sullivan, finished off by Orla Brennan, gave Ireland their bonus point try before the break. The conversion was missed and a late penalty from Kazakhstan’s Aigerym Daurembayeva left Ireland with a mountain to limb in the second half with the score reading 22 – 3 in their favour.
Despite and early second half try from Eliza Downey Ireland struggled to make headway in a tight third quarter and their hopes of top four qualification began to fade.
A final rally that saw Kate O’Loughlin go over, before Neville grabbed her second with over ten minutes to go. However, Kazakhstan still refused to roll over and the game ended without further score. Ireland some 30 points short of their huge target.
Final score: Ireland 37 Kazakhstan 3
Ireland will now turn their attentions to improving their position of eighth four years ago, while Kazakhstan will play-off for the places ninth to 12th over the final two days of the tournament.
Ireland: Niamh Briggs, Amy Davis, Joanne O’Sullivan, Lynne Cantwell, Eliza Downey, Helen Brosnan, Louise Beamish, Fiona Coghlan, Gill Bourke, Louise Austin, Kate O’Loughlin, Marie Louise Reilly, Orla Brennan, Claire Molloy, Joy Neville. Replacements: Yvonne Nolan, Laura Guest, Carol Staunton, Sinead Ryan, Jackie Shiels, Shannon Houston, Máiréad Kelly
POST MATCH REACTION
Ireland coach Philip Doyle:
I am very happy indeed, we went out with the intentions of getting the bonus point and that’s what we did. We did our goal. Unfortunately we didn’t get into the semis because of other teams, we had to rely on Canada to win their match to set it up but unfortunately they lost to France. But in our game, goal achieved, we are in our middle group, I’m not too sure where we are, but delighted.
Ireland captain Fiona Coghlan:
I’m delighted with the win and the bonus point, that is what we set out to do so we did that. A few areas we need to tidy up on going forward but we got what we wanted out of this game.
When we got the ball we made breaks and we had support lines running. Our lineout worked well, we got our clean ball off the scrums so our set piece went really well, [but] it still needs to be tidied up going forward.
We are looking for a higher ranking on eighth. We will have to wait and see who we get in the next round so we are looking for a higher ranking and we will settle for that.