Ireland claimed bronze in Canada. Travis Prior/INPHO
On the rise

Murphy Crowe on fire again as Ireland 7s claim bronze in Canada

The Tipperary woman scored 12 tries as Aiden McNulty’s team finished third in Langford.

THE IRELAND WOMEN’S 7s team claimed third place at the Langford 7s in Canada as Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe lit up the World 7s Series once again.

Aiden McNulty’s squad had earned a silver medal last time out in Seville, Spain back in January and they followed it up with another strong weekend in Canada.

Murphy Crowe was the star of the show as she scored 12 tries in total, including four against France in the bronze medal match.

The Tipperary woman’s 12-try tally beats her previous best of nine in one tournament and even came close to the all-time World Series record of 14, scored by New Zealand’s Portia Woodman back in 2015.

Murphy Crowe was key as Ireland got off to a flying start with a 22-7 win over Japan on Saturday in Langford. She scored a hat-trick of tries, while Kate Farrell McCabe also dotted down and captain Lucy Mulhall added a conversion.

McNulty’s side followed that up with a 31-14 victory over Brazil, Murphy Crowe bagging another hat-trick as Eve Higgins and Beibhinn Parsons also scored and Mulhall knocked over three conversions.

Ireland were beaten 28-12 by France in their final pool game – Murphy Crowe and 19-year-old World Series debutant Vicky Elmes Kinlan scoring the Irish tries – but they advanced into the Cup quarter-finals to meet the US on Sunday.

A last-gasp Murphy Crowe try saw Ireland past the Americans, adding to earlier scores from Mulhall and Katie Heffernan, Mulhall converting her own try.

ireland-celebrate-winning-a-bronze-medal Ireland celebrate their bronze medals. Travis Prior / INPHO Travis Prior / INPHO / INPHO

And though Ireland were second best in their semi-final against Australia, losing 26-5 as Elmes Kinlan scored their only try, they rallied for the third-place play-off against France, bouncing back from the pool-stage defeat to the same opposition.

Murphy Crowe scored all four of Ireland’s tries in that bronze final, with Mulhall adding a conversion, and McNulty’s charges were able to celebrate another medal.

This third-place finish lifts Ireland to fifth in the overall World Series standings, with one more leg left to go in Toulouse on 20-22 May.

This is a crucial year for the Ireland 7s teams, with both the women and men still needing to qualify for the Rugby World Cup 7s in Cape Town in September.

The IRFU’s decision to shift seven players from the Ireland Women’s 15s squad involved in the Six Nations back into the 7s squad ahead of last weekend’s World Series leg in Canada attracted plenty of criticism.

However, the results on the pitch were positive for both squads last weekend, with Greg McWilliams’ 15s team beating Scotland in dramatic fashion to finish the Six Nations on a high.

Meanwhile, over in Canada, the 7s squad continued their growth as a force on the circuit.

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