Rugby: Ireland go through to World Cup 2013!
Ireland’s 7s squad booked their place yesterday in the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013, nicking the final available spot with a win over the Ukraine.
The team was at the FIRA/AER European Championship tournament, which also served as the Qualifiers for the World Cup taking place in Russia next year.
Ireland’s qualification is a huge achievement for this talented squad, led by captain Claire Molloy, and the management team headed by coach Jon Skurr and manager Gemma Crowley. Molloy spoke briefly after Ireland’s World Cup qualification was confirmed:
While Ireland has for years had a 15-a-side team in women’s rugby, the seven-a-side squad is a mere 11 weeks old. During that time they have learned and improved incredibly. Unlike the team’s last competition in Amsterdam where they dominated completely, Ireland faced a greater challenge over the weekend, with hugely experienced teams testing the players to the fullest. This was reflected in the scorelines, with losses to the Netherlands and Russia.
The coming year will give the side time to refine their abilities and skills ahead of the World Cup. The team is undoubtedly paving the way for more opportunities for women to participate in rugby as a whole, and in particular the sevens format which is the rugby we’ll see in the Olympics for the first time in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
Ireland will be one of 16 teams competing at the 2013 Women’s Rugby World Cup Sevens, with the event taking place between 28th and 30th June at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
Speaking ahead of the Qualifiers on Friday, the Women’s Development Manager of the International Rubgy Board, Susan Carty, said:
There is no doubt that Women’s Rugby is going from strength to strength. With more than one million girls and women playing the Game and our international competitions attracting major exposure, Women’s Rugby really is making a name for itself as an inclusive, competitive and attractive sport to play and watch.
Ireland scored 12 tries in their three pool games on Saturday with Alison Miller and Ashling Hutchings scoring two apiece, while Molloy, Joy Neville, Lynne Cantwell, Jennifer Murphy, Sophie Spence, Jeannette Feighery, Niamh Kavanagh and Amy Davis also crossed over the line. Full player rankings and team info can be found here and in the tables below.
Results, match reports and links to video highlights are as follows:
30th June 2012 (Pool fixtures)
(Ireland ranked second in their Pool on seven points, after the Netherlands and ahead of Italy and then the Ukraine.)
1st July 2012
Russia 27-0 Ireland (Quarter-finals – Cup & plate)
Ukraine 0-17 Ireland (Semi-finals – Plate; Ireland’s World Cup qualification hinged on this game)