Sunday 21 January 2018

Ireland women end on a high

Ashleigh Baxter of Ireland in action during the Dubai Sevens match between New Zealand and Ireland on Thursday (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)
Ashleigh Baxter of Ireland in action during the Dubai Sevens match between New Zealand and Ireland on Thursday (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

Ireland rounded off their first appearance at the Emirates Dubai Women's Sevens tournament on a positive note by beating Tunisia 17-0 – a result that sealed an 11th-place finish.

Ireland were left to compete in the Bowl after finishing bottom of Pool A and were beaten 38-10 by France in the semi-final yesterday.

Ireland trailed 19-0 at the break and couldn't find a way back in the second half despite Alison Miller's two tries.

In the end, Shannon Izar's 13-point haul was enough for France to run out comfortable winners, but to their credit, Ireland bounced back in fine style with an impressive display against Tunisia.

Miller continued her excellent try-scoring form by scoring a hat-trick that took her tally to six for the tournament. Claire Keohane converted two of Miller's tries to seal a well-earned victory for Jon Skurr's side.

The two-day tournament in Dubai has been a massive learning curve for Ireland. Several new players to the Sevens game such as Niamh Ni Dhroma, Anna Caplice and Siobhan Barrett have all gained invaluable experience.

Ireland's attentions now turn to developing their squad ahead of the second and third legs of the IRB Women's Sevens World Series, which takes place in February in Atlanta and Sao Paulo.

Meanwhile, Australia completed a stunning fightback to see off New Zealand in a thrilling final at The Sevens Stadium in Dubai.

Sharni Williams' side were behind for most of the final but managed to claw their way back to secure a 35-27 victory.

Irish Independent

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