Ireland 24-36 Australia
Ireland’s dream World Cup on home soil has furthered soured as Australia avenged their defeat in the pool stages to win this fifth place semi-final at Ravenhill this afternoon.
The Wallaroos looked the more complete and composed side and turned around a 12-5 deficit in the first half to win 36-24.
Tries from Sharni Williams, Sarah Riordan, Hilisha Samoa, Millie Boyle and Mahalia Murphy did the damage as Ireland now prepare for seventh place decider with Canada or Wales on Saturday at 5pm at the same venue.
Ailis Egan, Alison Miller, Sophie Spence and Paula Fitzpatrick scored the Ireland tries but they quickly weakened in this game and must regroup again ahead of their final game of the tournament.
Australia took the lead in the eighth minute as Williams saw a gap when about to offload and kept Louise Galvin at bay to touch down.
Egan responded for Ireland after three scrums in succession as Tom Tierney's side enjoyed a rare moment of overpowering their opponent, and when Alison Miller weaved her way through the Wallaroos defence following Jenny Murphy’s kick forward, it looked like Ireland were finally finding their groove in this competition again.
But that was as good as it got for the home side.
Riordan and Samoa scored tries as Ashleigh Hewson found form with boot and it left Ireland trailing by seven at the break, 19-12.
A controversial try in the second half all but ended the game as a contest as Boyle touched down, despite it being difficult for the TMO to judge whether the ball had been grounded.
Hewson added the conversion and a further penalty, before Mahalia Murphy got it on the act with a crisp attacking move that had the Ireland defence clutching at straws.
Ireland did crash over two tries in the final six minutes through Sophie Spence and Paula Fitzpatrick but the game was a long time lost on another disappointing day for the players and management.