Rugby World Cup: The story so far
So now that we’re well acquainted with the team – and we’re well into the first few rounds of matches (each team should have played two games by now) – let’s see how things stand.
Our first game on Friday was up against the old nemesis, England. The team fought bravely with some amazing tackles, but England were way too strong a team – with their number 7, Alphonsi, playing amazingly.
The Rugby World Cup website summed things up:
The England back row stood up to be counted when they needed to and played a pivotal role as the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2010 hosts overcame an error strewn performance on a damp and gloomy Surrey evening to defeat Ireland 27-0.
It was physical, bruising stuff with Ireland refusing to be dominated by their English counterparts and Philip Doyle’s side can certainly hold their heads up high despite the look of the scoreboard in their Pool B encounter.
England will be happy with the win and relieved to get the bonus point at the death, whereas Ireland will face the rest of the tournament with relish knowing that they can be a match for anyone they face.
In the end, the Ireland side remained scoreless, while England racked up 27 points and a bonus point for their team.
Our second game of the tournament was yesterday (Tuesday), against the US of A. A physical team on the US side, this game was always going to be tough. Ireland started out well, earning the first points of the match when, on her 50th cap, Neville scored the first try of the game for Ireland; but the Americans were determined to fight back. At one stage, they led 7-5 against Ireland. What may have been the clincher for them, however, and helped our side was when one of their number was sin-binned late in the first half. A few minutes later, Briggs seized an opportunity to nick a try before half-time.
In the second half, Ireland continued this theme, quickly scoring yet another try when Neville made it over the line again after a line-out. Not long afterwards, Ireland’s Rosser managed another try, also earning Ireland a bonus point. USA sought to make a comeback late in the game, with a try; unfortunately the conversion wasn’t to be, and the final score remained 22-12.
Ali Donnelly of ScrumQueens explained the importance of the game:
Ireland prevailed in this exciting and tough pool B clash on day two of the Women’s Rugby World Cup where they secured a 4-try bonus point in a well earned victory.
This was always going to be a key game in this pool and with Ireland having lost their opener against England, a win was very much needed to keep any hopes of a semi-final spot alive.
The official Rugby World Cup website had post-match commentary from both sides, including Ireland’s Joy Neville and coach, Philip Doyle:
Ireland try scorer Joy Neville: “No, absolutely not [there is no better way to mark my 50th test), I’m very happy with that but overall I’m so happy with the performance the team put in. It wasn’t about my 50th cap today it was putting in the effort, today was going to be the hardest game of the tournament and just happy to say we came through. We are in a good position now, we’ve a lot to work on still and just looking forward to improving upon a lot of the set pieces and attacking options.”
Ireland coach Philip Doyle: “Ireland today were outstanding from the kick off really. Literately in the first two minutes we were on America’s line and we just stuck with it. We stuck to our tactics in the first half and then using the wind in the second half, absolutely outstanding, couldn’t have asked for anything better from one to 22.”
“Well we did a lot of talking, we did a lot of soul searching you know. We knew we put in a performance against England, we knew we could go toe to toe with the best in the world and we just had to back ourselves with that performance and to be honest it told you know and we knew we could play rugby against America and we certainly did.”
Check the World Cup site for full information on fixtures and results.
Ireland’s next game is against Khazakhstan this Saturday at 4:30pm.
- Games are being broadcast by Sky Sports (except Ireland’s game today, unfortunately) and are streamed to non-UK and Ireland residents on rwcwomens.com
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