Friday 23 March 2018

Ireland fail to book place in semi-final despite heroics from Neville

Ireland 37
Kazakhstan 3
Women's world cup - Round 3

A 62-0 victory by Australia over South Africa denied Ireland a semi-final place as the best runners-up of the three qualifying Pools.

That was the disappointing news for a brave Irish team after their try-fest of seven touchdowns, including another brace from 50-cap Joy Neville, as they romped to victory over Kazakhstan at Guildford on Saturday.

Coach Philip Doyle made two changes to the team that impressed in defeating America last Tuesday, with Louise Beamish coming in at scrum-half and Eliza Downey lining out on the wing.

Ireland got off to a flying start in the second minute, full-back Niamh Briggs applying the finishing touch after good work by Downey. However, Briggs missed the conversion and was off-target for all but one of seven conversions.

Neville scored the first of her brace in the 16th minute, which Briggs converted. With Beamish and Orla Brennan also touching down before half-time, Ireland appeared to be halfway to achieving the points difference they needed to book a semi-final place.

Neville, Downey and Kate O'Loughlin then added further second-half scores as Ireland enjoyed a deserved victory.

"At least we were in contention and we will be improving our position since the last World Cup," said Doyle afterwards.

IRELAND -- N Briggs (J Shiels 72); A Davis (M Kelly, 51), J O'Sullivan, L Cantwell , E Downey ; H Brosnan (inj) (S Houston, 55), L Beamish; F Coghlan (L Guest, 72), G Bourke, L Austin (Y Nolan 51); K O'Loughlin, ML Reilly; O Brennan (C Staunton, 45), C Molloy (S Ryan, 48), J Neville.

KAZAKHSTAN -- A Daurembayeva (T Pshenichnaya, 56); O Sazonova, V Nezbudley, A Baratova (T Tur), I Amossova; A Yakovleva, A Khamova; N Kamendrovskaya, T Ashikhmina (F Kalen, 36), O Nikulich; S Karatgina, O Kumanikina (S Zhamankulova, 63); A Mustafina (K Baktybayeva, 63), O Teryayeva, I Radziivil (M Balashova, 31).

Ref -- A McMenemy (Scotland).

Irish Independent

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport