Ireland Women competed their Rugby World Cup Sevens journey with a commendable sixth place finish after losing 7 – 12 to a rejuvenated Spain in the 5th Place Championship play off in the early hours of Sunday morning.
While the players in Team Ireland will be disappointed that they lost out to Spain, a team with whom they have been nip and tuck with for many seasons, they will find a lot of comfort from their Top 6 finish made possible by earlier wins in this competition against two other “bogey” sided, namely England Women and Russia Women.
Ireland Women played four matches winning two and losing two but it must be pointed out in this groundbreaking performance that the won the right matches. In particular, their first round win against England guaranteed them a successful tournament the subsequent win against Russia adding icing to the cake.
The Ireland Women’s results are shown below.
Women’s Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018, Round of 16
ENGLAND WOMEN 14 – 19 IRELAND WOMEN
Women’s Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018, Championship Quarter Finals
IRELAND WOMEN 0 – 45 NEW ZEALAND WOMEN
Women’s Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018, Championship 5/8 Place
IRELAND WOMEN 20 – 15 RUSSIA WOMEN
Women’s Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018, Championship 5/6 Place
IRELAND WOMEN 7 – 12 SPAIN WOMEN
Ireland Women played a fairly attritional game throughout and relied on their defence to create opportunities. They were probably the hardest working team in the championship and I’d guess they used the least number of players. It was disappointing that three of the 12 player squad only got 2 minutes game time each and that only in the game against New Zealand after the game was lost.
However, their tactics certainly worked and they certainly unsettled the England and Russia teams but were less successful against the unflappable New Zealand and the wiley Spaniards. All in all Ireland scored 46 points but conceded 86 albeit 45 of those against New Zealand.
The Irish point scorers are shown below.
|Amee Leigh Murphy Crowe||10|
*Note – Eve Higgins scored in every game she started.
As we said, this was a groundbreaking result for Team Ireland and they find themselves firmly ensconced in the top six of world rugby sevens after a series of gritty and determined performances. However they need to add a bit of shine to those performances and they need to strengthen the depth of their squad if they are to continue their upward trajectory.
The players have stood up, now is the time for the IRFU to swing in behind with their support mechanism for the women’s game.