THE IRELAND WOMEN’s 7s have guaranteed themselves a first ever World Series top-four finish as they defeated Spain 22-7 in the quarter final in Sydney earlier.
It will be Ireland’s first ever semi-final appearance when they face hosts Australia on Saturday night at 10.56pm (Irish time), with live coverage via world.rugby/sevens-series.
Today’s win also sees them finish as the top European side in the competition.
It was 19-year-old Eve Higgins who claimed Ireland’s first score against Spain, receiving the ball from a scrum on the 10-metre line before jinking her way through the Spanish defence and using her speed to touch down. Captain Lucy Mulhall converted to make it 7-0.
Higgins again caused problems for the Spanish as she found herself in space meters from the line, but the final pass didn’t go to hand.
Spain conceded a penalty on the half-time hooter and Mulhall made the decision to put her side two scores ahead and struck the ball through the posts to make it 10-0.
Anna McGann returned in the second half from a two-minute sin bin for a deliberate knock-down and made up for her indiscretion by carrying hard into contact, sucking in Spanish defenders and creating space out wide for her teammate Amee-Leigh Murphy-Crowe to exploit and go over for her fifth try of the tournament. Mulhall converted to put Ireland 17 points ahead.
A well worked team try followed, with Hannah Tyrrell and McGann both carrying smartly to attract defenders. The ball was worked to to Murphy-Crowe who had some work to do to touch down, but her hard worked ensured she closed Day 2 as leading try scorer at the Sydney 7s.
As Anthony Eddy emptied his bench, Spain claimed a consolation try, but the victory was secured.
Tries: Eve Higgins, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe two;
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Cons: Lucy Mulhall two.
Pen: Lucy Mulhall
IRELAND: Louise Galvin, Anna McGann, Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird, Amee-Leigh Murphy-Crowe, Hannah Tyrrell, Lucy Mulhall (capt), Eve Higgins.
Subs used: Aoife Doyle, Brittany Hogan, Béibhinn Parsons, Emily Lane. Not used: Audrey O’Flynn
– IRFU service