August 22, 2017
Australia Powers by Ireland to Move to 5th Place Final at #WRWC2017
Photo: INPHO/Dan Sheridan (Australia captain Sharni Williams celebrates with her team-mates after scoring the opening try)
The Ireland Women’s team faced Australia in Tuesday’s 5th place semi-final in Belfast in a repeat of the opening pool match. Australia avenged a 19-17 pool loss, winning 32-24.
Australia took an early 5-0 lead in the 7th minute, as Sharni Williams scored in the corner. Seven minutes later Ireland’s Ailis Egan tied the match from a rolling maul.
Ireland’s jenny Murphy kicked ahead and Alison Miller gathered the ball and beat three defenders for a try. and after Nora Stapleton’s conversion the lead was 12-5.
The last 15 minutes it was all Australia. Alisha Hewett was held up in-goal and after a 5 meter scrum, Sarah Riordan went in for a try under the posts to tie the match at 12 all. Hilisha Samoa then added a try and after Ashleigh Hewson’s conversion Australia had a 19-12 lead, which they would retain through the break.
Claire McLaughlin came on in the 38th at outside center for Ireland, her first Women’s Rugby World Cup appearance.
Australia continued their momentum in the second half as Millie Boyle powered in for a try and Hewson converted to extend the lead to 26-12. Hewson then added a penalty kick to increase the lead to 29-12.
A Sharni Williams offload to Mahalia Murphy for a try and a Hewson conversion for a 36-12 lead appears to have sealed the match for Australia.
Ireland attacked to the Australia 5 meters at the 73rd, but were held up for a Australia scrum. The Wallaroos were penalized and Ireland’s Sophie Spence narrowed the lead to 32-17.
With Ireland on the attack, Millie Boyle was sent to the bin. Playing the penalty advantage, Paula Fitzpatrick powered in for a try and after the Stapleton conversion the lead was 32-24 as time almost expired.
With the Wallaroos win, they will qualify for the next Women’s Rugby World Cup. They will also play the winner of the Canada – Wales match for 5th place. Ireland will play the loser for 7th.
Australia’s Hilisha Samoa was named Player of the match.
Ireland v Australia: 1. Lindsay Peat 2. Cliodhna Moloney 3. Ailis Egan 4. Ciara Cooney 5. Marie Louise Reilly 6. Ciara Griffin 7. Claire Molloy (capt) 8. Paula Fitzpatrick 9. Nicole Cronin 10. Nora Stapleton 11. Alison Miller 12. Sene Naoupu 13. Jenny Murphy 14. Louise Galvin 15. Hannah Tyrrell 16. Leah Lyons 17. Ilse van Staden 18. Ciara O’Connor 19. Sophie Spence 20. Anna Caplice 21. Larissa Muldoon 22. Katie Fitzhenry 23. Claire McLaughlin
Australia v Ireland: 1. Liz Patu 2. Cheyenne Campbell 3. Hilisha Samoa 4. Rebecca Clough 5. Alisha Hewett 6. Millie Boyle 7. Chloe Butler 8. Grace Hamilton 9. Katrina Barker 10. Ashleigh Hewson 11. Mahalia Murphy 12. Sharni Williams (C) 13. Sarah Riordan 14. Nareta Marsters 15. Samantha Treherne 16. Emily Robinson 17. Violeta Tupuola 18. Hana Ngaha 19. Mollie Gray 20. Kate Brown 21. Fenella Hake 22. Kayla Sauvao 23. Trilleen Pomare