Ireland women come up short in Dubai Sevens
Ireland Women endured a frustrating afternoon on the opening day of the Dubai Sevens as two defeats saw them miss out on a place in today's quarter-finals.
Ireland returned to the World Sevens circuit having not featured last year and they made a bright start in their opening game with an impressive 12-5 win over USA, who finished fifth last season.
Tries from Alison Miller and Louise Galvin plus a conversion from Lucy Mulhall got Anthony Eddy's side off to a flyer but that was as good as it got for them.
Canada, runners up to New Zealand in last season's series, showed their class with a 17-7 win.
Mulhall's brilliant converted try put Ireland ahead early on but the Canadians soon hit back and took control.
Fiji then dished out the hammer blow. Ireland were behind early on and the difference in the offloading ability between the sides was key.
Mulhall's try cut the deficit but her side trailed 17-5 at the break and never really looked like recovering.
Two tries in quick succession after the interval put Fiji out of sight and although Miller did respond with a late score, it was no more than a consolation as Ireland lost out 27-10.
Ireland will now compete in the Bowl semi-final where they will meet Brazil.
Elsewhere, World Cup final referee Nigel Owens will take charge of Leinster's must-win visit to hat-trick chasing Champions Cup giants Toulon next Saturday.
Romain Poite will be in charge of another confrontation between former champions when Munster host in-form Leicester Tigers at Thomond Park next Saturday.
Wayne Barnes will oversee Ulster's clash with Toulouse.