Wednesday 21 February 2018

World final place at stake as Lynne takes on England

PJ Murray

THE history-making Irish women's rugby team are poised to write a new chapter in what has been a storied three years as they face England in their first ever World Cup semi-final on Wednesday.

They will be hoping to channel the 2013 side who famously beat 'The Ould Enemy' on their way to a Six Nations Grand Slam triumph.

Fingal native and Ireland's most capped player Lynne Cantwell tweeted her thanks for the support the team received after their victory over the USA in their opening group game, finishing with the term 'slow and steady'.

There has been nothing slow nor steady about this World Cup for the girls in green as they shocked the world with a momentous win over New Zealand in their second Pool B group game. It was the Kiwis' first defeat since 1991 at the World Cup and Ireland's first win over the All Blacks in either men's or women's rugby.

The Rolestown native was handed the captaincy for arguably the biggest banana skin of the group - their final Pool B game against Kazakhstan. A win against the minnows and once again the Irish women would be in unchartered territory.

Cantwell oversaw what was in the end a clinical 40-5 victory as the final whistle was greeted with a sense of joy, but also a sense that the competition had just begun.

Speaking before the tournament, Cantwell talked about how her side were travelling to France more in confidence than hope and that they were aiming to land the title.

Their win over New Zealand confirmed the self-belief to be well-founded and now Cantwell, who has already seen many a historic moment with the team, will witness another milestone as they go in search of a place in the World Cup Final.

With host nation France facing off against an unfancied Canadian side, should Ireland get past England then there won't be much for them to fear in the final, having already done 'the impossible' and disposed of the mighty All Blacks.

Fingal Independent

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