Ireland Women enjoyed a successful Day 1 in the Rugby Europe Sevens Grand Prix in Marcoussis, France.
The Irish team finished top of Group after wins against Spain (15 – 0), Italy (41 – 5) and Scotland (22- 14) as Ireland scored 14 tries, conceding only three.
However with only four of their tries converted Ireland qualified as third seeds due to Russia (Group A) and France (Group B) topping their groups with superior points difference.
Ireland benefited from the return of captain Lucy Mulhall who sent Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird over for the opening score following a charge from Brittany Hogan.
Nic a Bhaird received a yellow shortly after but Ireland held firm and doubled their lead with Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe crossing on the stroke of half time to give Ireland a 10 – 0 lead at the break.
Spain appeared to be saving themselves for Day 2 in a subdued performance and the only score of the second half was a second try from Nic a Bhaird.
TRY: Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird (2), Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe
Ireland dominated this one from start to finish with Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe grabbing the first. Hannah Tyrrell added a quick brace before Louise Galvin added a fourth. Lucy Mulhall converting the last to give Ireland a 22 – 0 lead at the break.
Megan Burns made an impact with a score inside a minute of the restart before Tyrell matched her first half exploits with another brace in the second. Eve Higgins and Lucy Mulhall each added a second half conversion.
Italy crossed late on with a consolation try from Maria Magatti after a yellow card for Ireland’s Galvin.
TRY: Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, Hannah Tyrrell (4), Louise Galvin, Megan Burns. CON: Lucy Mulhall (2), Eve Higgins
Team FRU’s Brittany Hogan set the early pace with an opening try before winning a turnover for Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe to finish off in the corner.
A hard working Scotland responded with a converted try to pull it back, through Rhona Lloyd, to 10 – 7 but Murphy Crowe completed a first half brace to give Ireland a 15 – 7 lead as the teams changed ends.
In a tight second half Lucy Mulhall broke clear from some distance to give Ireland a decisive 22 – 7 lead before Hannah Smith pulled one back for Scotland at the final hooter.
TRY: Brittany Hogan, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe (2), Lucy Mulhall. CON: Lucy Mulhall
The results leave Ireland in the comparatively tough side of the draw for the knock out stages on Sunday.
Their route to a likely final against Russia will see them having to overcome England in the quarter final before, what looks like, a semi final against hosts France. None of them easy!
Their quarter final against England kicks off at 10:44 UK/Ire on Sunday morning.
The tournament will be live streamed on RugbyEurope.tv.
Ireland 7s Squad and Points scored in the tournament so far.
|Ireland 7s Women Scorers
|Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe||5||5||10||20|
|Deirbhile Nic A Bhaird||10||10|