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Irish women show the rugby lads how it's done

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From left, Ashleigh Baxter, Niamh Briggs, and Tania Rosser celebrate victory over New Zealand

From left, Ashleigh Baxter, Niamh Briggs, and Tania Rosser celebrate victory over New Zealand

From left, Ashleigh Baxter, Niamh Briggs, and Tania Rosser celebrate victory over New Zealand

AN Irish rugby team has finally beaten the mighty All Blacks.

The women's team made history by beating the New Zealanders 17-14 at the World Cup in France.

Sporting figures now believe the girls in green can go all the way and take home the trophy.

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt was no doubt looking on in envy as he watched from the sidelines alongside Irish international Jonny Sexton, his wife Laura and baby son Luca.

heroes

By beating the Kiwis, the Irish side become the first team to inflict a loss on the southern-hemisphere squad since the Women's Rugby World Cup began in 1991.

But captain Fiona Coghlan (33), from Clontarf, told the Herald that while the win against New Zealand is "huge," it is back to business.

"It's brilliant, it's some win but we're taking stock and very much focusing on our next game and getting a bonus point in that.

"We're not going to lose focus," she added.

Former rugby star Tony Ward was just one of many sporting heroes glued to the game. "We're in with a real chance to go all the way here," he said.

Mr Ward, also has experience beating the All Blacks, when his Munster side were victorious in 1978.

But he said that even that win did not compare with the women's victory.

"They did it in a competition, in a World Cup, against the four-time world champions, it's a phenomenal achievement," he told the Herald.

Ireland now tops its pool in the Women's Rugby World Cup in France with one game left, against Kazakhstan, before a guaranteed place in the semi-final.

RTE sports pundit George Hamilton said: "We'd a fair idea when they won the Grand Slam last year that this team was special. Now we know for sure."

UNBELIEVABLE

Ireland men's players flooded Twitter with praise for the women's side. The team, coached by Philip Doyle, is the first Irish squad to ever beat a New Zealand side.

Leinster player Mike Ross tweeted: "Unbelievable result from the ladies team! That's the way it's done lads."

The Kearney brothers also heaped their praise on the women's team.

Rob Kearney described their play as "incredible stuff," and his younger brother Dave Kearney tweeted: "What an effort."

Scrum-half Peter Stringer hailed the women's win as an "incredible victory".

And even GAA stars got in on the action with former Dublin footballer Jason Sherlock tweeting his praise of the women's side as did Tanaiste Joan Burton.

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