Tuesday 23 January 2018

More work to be done for semis

Ireland 40 Kazakhstan 5

Laura Guest, Ireland, in action against the Kazakhstan defence
Laura Guest, Ireland, in action against the Kazakhstan defence
Hannah Casey, Ireland, is tackled by Anna Yakovleva, Kazakhstan
Laura Guest, Ireland, is tackled by Svetlana Klyuchnikova, left, and Olga Bakhtiguzina.
Ireland players, from left to right, Siobhan Fleming, Hannah Casey and Grace Davitt celebrate at the final whistle after victory over Kazakhstan
Claire Molloy, Ireland, is tackled by Svetlana Klyuchnikova, Kazakhstan

A blistering final quarter proved key at Marcoussis yesterday, when Ireland made history by booking their place in the semi-final of the 2014 IRB Women's Rugby World Cup.

The final outcome of this contest certainly flatters Philip Doyle's charges, as only nine points separated the teams heading into the final 20 minutes. A 64th-minute penalty try helped open the floodgates, with further tries from Siobhán Fleming, Sharon Lynch and Vikki McGinn.

Lynch had powered over for the opening try after six minutes, suggesting Ireland would have things all their own way, but as the half wore on, a series of unforced errors allowed Kazakhstan to make headway.

A stunning individual try by lively outhalf Tania Rosser provided Ireland with some much-needed breathing space.

This, and a second successful Jackie Shiels conversion, provided Ireland with a 14-5 platform at the interval, and with regular No 10 Nora Stapleton introduced upon the restart, they probed for the scores that would secure them a bonus-point triumph.

The well-organised Kazakhstan defence managed to hold firm amidst this sustained pressure, but when No 8 Marianna Balashova was sin-binned 16 minutes from time and Ireland were awarded a penalty try, their resistance was finally broken.

Scorers - Ireland: S Lynch 2 tries, T Rosser, S Fleming, V McGinn 1 try each; penalty try; J Shiels (5 cons). Kazakhstan: S Karatygina 1 try.

Ireland: J Shiels; V McGinn, L Cantwell (A Baxter 69), G Davitt, H Casey; T Rosser (N Stapleton 47), L Muldoon; F Hayes (A Egan 57), G Bourke (F Coghlan 57), KA Craddock (C Molloy 57); L Guest, O Fitzsimons; S Lynch, S Fleming, P Fitzpatrick.

Kazakhstan: A Daurembayeva; O Shadrina, A Yakovleva (capt), B Koishybayeva, L Sapronova; S Klyuchnikova, A Baratova; Y Muradova, Y Yevdokimova, O Bakhtiguzina (I Radzevil 53); L Matiyeva, S Karatygina (Y Kiryushina 57); S Zhamankulova (A Khamova 57), K Baktybayeva, M Balashova.

Referee: N Inwood (New Zealand)

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