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Kiwis done and dusted, now bring on the Kazakhs ...

It is level heads in the Irish camp for their last pool game in the Women's Rugby World Cup despite their historic win over New Zealand last Tuesday.

"Everyone's feeling good. The humour is still very good in camp," said a spokeswoman for the team.

"The win against New Zealand was a fantastic boost but, saying that, everyone is staying very level-headed."

Ireland will play Kazakhstan at 12pm today in Marcoussis, France.

If they win, Ireland tops their pool and will take a place in the semi-finals for the first time in the tournament's history.

Ireland beat four-time world champions New Zealand, by 17 points to 14 - the first time a national side has ever defeated the All Blacks.

They also claimed victory over the USA, a team which was ranked above them.

Thrilling

"Those games are seen over here as the best of the tournament, they were seen as thrilling," said the spokeswoman.

All of the pool games will have been played by tonight, at which point the Irish team will know who they are meeting in the semi-final, if they beat Kazakhstan.

"They're approaching this as very much a tough game, they're not expecting a walkover by any means," explained the Irish Rugby Football Union spokeswoman.

After Tuesday night's historic victory the team received praise from "across the board," including a host of sports stars like Peter Stringer, Jason Sherlock and Tony Ward as well as politicians such as Tanaiste Joan Burton.

Coach

Watching the game were Irish out-half Jonny Sexton with his wife Laura with their new-born son Luca. Joe Schmidt, the men's coach, also went to the New Zealand game and stayed around after the match to congratulate the women on their win.

"He was very pleased, he seemed delighted," said the IRFU spokeswoman.

A number of changes were announced for today's game including Lynn Cantwell taking over from Fiona Coghlan as captain. Today's game will be broadcast on TG4.

jfegan@herald.ie


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