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Ireland advance to quarter-finals on opening weekend of World Sevens Series

Victory over Brazil assured Stan McDowell’s side of a place in the last eight at the Glendale 7s.

Ireland's Emily Lane in action against USA.
Ireland's Emily Lane in action against USA.
Image: Travis Prior

IRELAND RECOVERED FROM a tough start to their 2019/20 Women’s Sevens Series season to book their place in the cup quarter-finals on the opening weekend in Colorado. 

Stan McDowell’s side bounced back from heavy defeats to France and hosts USA in their opening games at the Glendale 7s, but a 28-7 win over Brazil in their final Pool B outing was enough to see Ireland advance on scoring difference.

Anna Doyle’s late try against Brazil on her World Series debut proved crucial as England’s subsequent 36-0 defeat to New Zealand worsened their scoring difference, leaving Ireland to advance as the second best third-place finishers.

Ireland will now face New Zealand in Sunday’s quarter-final at 6.17pm Irish time.

Earlier on Saturday, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe opened her account for the new season but France proved too strong in Ireland’s campaign-opener, before a further 45-7 loss to USA at Infinity Park.

But Ireland showed huge resolve to rebound strongly and tries from Eve Higgins, Murphy Crowe, Emily Lane and Doyle secured a 28-7 victory over Brazil, setting up a quarter-final meeting with the holders.

“Although it’s always great to get a win, we’re still disappointed in our use of possession and our discipline on the field. I still think we could have got more points on the board against Brazil,” captain Lucy Mulhall said.

The first two games we were just disappointing, we didn’t turn up. We didn’t execute the basic skills and we let ourselves down. We still have a lot that we need to improve on, but I think the fact that we held onto possession a little bit longer makes a massive difference, because all the World Series teams, if you don’t have the ball they’re going to punish you.

“We’ve just got to get up in the morning and want to execute our basic skills better and just work really hard for each other out on the field. At the end of the day, we’re wearing an Irish jersey and we want to do it proud every time we put it on. So, we’ve got a job tomorrow to put some pride back into it.”

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