The Ireland players celebrate. Travis Hayto/INPHO
Seventh Heaven

Ireland women's team make history with rugby success in Perth

The 19-14 cup final victory saw Ireland atone for defeat to Australia in Seville two years ago.

THE IRELAND WOMEN’S sevens rugby side made history in Perth today as they stunned hosts Australia to land their first World Series title.

The 19-14 cup final victory over Australia saw the Irish team become the first from the Ireland Rugby Sevens programme to take such honours.

Ireland atoned for defeat to Australia in Seville two years ago, in their only previous cup final appearance.

Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe and Lucy Mulhall both touched down during the first half for Allan Temple-Jones’ charges. Mulhall had grabbed two tries during the impressive 31-7 semi-final defeat of Great Britain, but Ireland’s 14-7 interval lead was erased when Teagan Levi evaded a diving tackle from Eve Higgins for a breakaway ninth-minute effort.

Ireland responded impressively. They got back on the front foot, with Béibhinn Parsons accelerating through into the opposition 22, before replacement Aoibheann Reilly fed Higgins on the left wing and she stepped inside Isabella Nasser, shrugging off her attempted tackle to score.

Mulhall pushed her conversion narrowly wide, but it was not needed in the end as Australia knocked on from the restart. Reilly got the ball out of the scrum swiftly, allowing her skipper to kick the ball dead and cap a brilliant success for the Ireland team.

The previous match had seen the Ireland Men overcome Fiji 24-7 in brilliant fashion to win the 3rd place play-off. They took on the Fijians without injured captain Harry McNulty, and fell behind to a Josese Batirerega try.

Terry Kennedy hit back with two touchdowns either side of half-time, and it was Ireland who produced the stronger finish with their bench becoming a crucial factor.

Replacement Gavin Mullin ran in a brace of tries in the 11th and 14th minutes to seal the result in Western Australia’s capital city.

The results are a boost for the two Ireland squads at the start of 2024 as the countdown continues to the women’s Olympic debut in Paris, where the men will compete for the second time after their maiden qualification in Tokyo.

The sevens series continues in February and March with a double-header in Vancouver and Los Angeles.

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