Ireland 22-7 Spain

The Ireland Women’s Sevens team swept past Spain in the quarter-finals of the World Series in Sydney to guarantee themselves a first ever top-four finish.

They take on hosts Australia tonight [10.56pm Irish time] and - win or lose - will finish the tournament as the top European side in the competition.

It was 19-Year-Old Eve Higgins who claimed Ireland’s first score against Spain, receiving the ball from a scrum on the 10-metre line before jinking her way through the defence and bursting over. Captain Lucy Mulhall converted to make it 7-0.

Higgins again caused problems for the Spanish as she found herself in space meters from the line, but the final pass didn’t go to hand.

Spain conceded a penalty on the half-time hooter and Mulhall made the decision to put her side two scores ahead, striking the ball cleanly through the posts to make it 10-0.

Anna McGann returned in the second half from a two-minute sinbin for a deliberate knock-down and made up for her indiscretion by carrying hard into contact, sucking in Spanish defenders and creating space out wide for her teammate Amee-Leigh Murphy-Crowe to exploit and go over for her fifth try of the tournament. Mulhall converted to put Ireland 17 points ahead.

A well-worked team try followed, with Hannah Tyrrell and McGann both carrying smartly to attract defenders.

The ball was worked to to Murphy-Crowe who had some work to do to touch down, but her hard worked ensured she closed Day 2 as leading try scorer at the Sydney 7s.

As Anthony Eddy emptied his bench, Spain claimed a consolation try, but the victory was secured. Ireland are into the last four.

Ireland Women’s 7s Squad: Aoife Doyle (Railway Union RFC & Shannon RFC / Munster), Louise Galvin (UL Bohemian RFC / Munster), Eve Higgins (Railway Union RFC / Leinster), Brittany Hogan (Railway Union RFC / Ulster), Amee-Leigh Murphy-Crowe (Railway Union RFC / Munster), Anna McGann (Old Belvedere & UCD RFC / Leinster), Emily Lane (Mallow RFC / Munster), Lucy Mulhall (Rathdrum RFC), Deirbhile Nic A Bhaird (Old Belvedere RFC / Munster), Audrey O’Flynn (Ireland 7s Programme), Béibhinn Parsons (Ballinasloe RFC / Connacht), Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere RFC / Leinster), Katie Heffernan (Railway Union RFC & Mullingar RFC/Leinster)