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Ireland shaded by New Zealand, but progress to face Canada in quarter-final clash at Dubai 7s

The Black Ferns were clinical, scoring two tries either side of half-time to swing the pool decider away from Ireland.

IRELAND WOMEN SUFFERED defeat to New Zealand in their seven-try Pool A decider at Dubai 7s, but a strong opening day ensured progress to the quarter-final stage where they will meet Canada tomorrow morning (kick-off 6.06AM Irish time).

unnamed (2) Ireland celebrate a try in their opener against Russia. Source: Sam O'Byrne

Anthony Eddy’s side put up a strong resistance against the dominant Kiwis, scoring three tries in a battling 24-17 loss.

Hannah Tyrell got Ireland off to the perfect start against the Black Ferns, powering under the posts from Eve Higgins’ pop pass.

The Ferns were forced to work hard to get out of their own territory. Yet they came close to scoring shortly after a sin-bin period, a terrific tackle from Louise Galvin  stopped the ball from being touched down.

New Zealand had the scent by that stage, however, Michaela Blyde cut in against the grain to put the Kiwis on the board. Lucy Mulhall was sent to the sin-bin as the pressure mounted in the closing seconds of the half and the black jerseys swept wide to capitalise on their one-woman advantage and Gayle Broughton put the scoreline at 10-7 at half-time.

hogan dubai Birttany Hogan scores against New Zealand. Source: Sam O'Byrne.

The Black Ferns showed clinical killer instinct after the break and the deficit was 24-7 by the 10th minute thanks to a second Blyde score and Ruby Tui’s lung-busting breakaway. 

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Brittany Hogan finished off a breakaway to cap her debut day with a try and pull seven back for Ireland. Higgins then finished strong to whittle the gap down to just a single score at full-time.

unnamed Higgins runs in a try against Kenya, with Hannah Tyrell in support. Source: Sam O'Byrne

After finishing sixth on the opening World Series weekend last month, Anthony Eddy’s side carried on that form and opened today’s campaign with a 26-0 win over Russia, with Anna McGann and Higgins among the try-scorers.

Mulhall’s playmaking helped Ireland sustain that scoring form against Kenya. The skipper central in an Amee Leigh Murphy Crowe try that crowned her hat-trick, while Higgins delivered two more scores to deliver a 27-14 win over the Lionesses.

Ireland’s men will get their Dubai 7s Invitational campaign underway against Russia tomorrow at 10.20am Irish time. Matches can be watched live on World Rugby’s YouTube channel.

Source: Heineken Rugby Weekly on The42/SoundCloud

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Sean Farrell

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