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Ireland Women’s 7s clinch spot in first World Series semi-final in Sydney

They’ll take on hosts Australia tonight.

Ireland will finish the tournament as the top European side.
Ireland will finish the tournament as the top European side.

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.

Scorers: Ireland:

Tries: Eve Higgins, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe two;

Cons: Lucy Mulhall two.

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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

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