Ireland Women Sevens team finished the Canadian leg of the 2017 Women’s Sevens World Series on a high with a Day 2 win against England. The win gives Ireland their highest finish in the series this season and a first win against England in the Series.
We’d predicted that Ireland would lose their Cup quarterfinal match against France, leaving them with a “winnable” playoff match against an out of sorts Russia. The match against France went according to form with Stacy Flood the only scorer for Ireland in a 19 – 5 defeat but, unfortunately, a rejuvenated Russia also turned Ireland over with a comfortable 17 – 0 win.
The defeat left Ireland facing England and the familiar scenario of a Day 2 whitewash, the team yet to record a win this series against the Top 8 team in the knockout stages.
However, despite going behind to an early try, Ireland struck back with scores from Louise Galvin and Lucy Mulhall, both converted by Mulhall, to give Ireland a 14 – 10 win, England scoring a late consolation try.
The win saw Ireland pick up their highest points total for the series with a seventh place finish.
It’s difficult to say if this was a genuine improvement in the Ireland set up as so many of the sides had made significant changes ahead of the 2017 World Cup and that’s likely to continue for the final round in France at the end of June. However, they have confirmed qualification for next season, the return of Louise Galvin does appear to have strengthened the team and debutant Katie Heffernan can be pleased with a good series.
IRELAND WOMEN SEVENS FIXTURES/RESULTS
FIJI 14 – 19 IRELAND
AUSTRALIA 21 – 0 IRELAND
IRELAND 21 – 0 SPAIN
FRANCE 19 – 5 IRELAND
RUSSIA 17 – 0 IRELAND
IRELAND 14 – 10 ENGLAND
IRELAND WOMEN SEVENS SQUAD
Ashleigh Baxter (Cooke/Ulster)
Chloe Blackmore (St. Mary’s/Munster)
Claire Keohane (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Stacey Flood (Railway Union/Leinster)
Kim Flood (Railway Union/Leinster)
Louise Galvin (UL Bohemians/Munster)
Katie Heffernan (Mullingar/Railway Union (dual status)/Leinster)
Anna McGann (UCD/Leinster)
Lucy Mulhall (Rathdrum/Leinster) (capt)
Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe (Railway Union/Munster)
Sene Naoupu (Aylesford Bulls)
Audrey O’Flynn (Ireland Sevens Programme)
Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere/Leinster)