Ireland Women's 7s will take on England tomorrow in the quarter-final of the Rugby Europe Olympic Qualifier in Kazan after finishing as runners-up in their pool.
Ireland slipped to a 19-5 defeat to Spain in their final Pool C game on Saturday and will now take on England, who also finished in second in their pool having lost 25-5 to Russia in their last match.
Led by captain Lucy Mullhall, Ireland hit the ground running in their opening two games. They started with a 48-0 victory over Romania, followed by a 50-0 win against Czech Republic.
Amee-Leigh Murphy-Crowe, who finished as top try-scorer on this season’s World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series, crossed for five tries in the opening two games, while Mulhall slotted eight conversions.
The final game of the day was against Spain, with the winners knowing they would top the pool.
Spain were composed in defence and snuck in to score just before half-time. Ireland battled hard in the second half, but they couldn’t break down the Spanish defence, and although Mulhall manged to cross for a try with three minutes remaining, the clock ran out.
They take on the English tomorrow in a tournament that will see the overall winner claim a place at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Second and third place in Kazan will earn one final chance to earn a place at the Games at next summer’s World Repechage.
Finish outside of the top three however and the Olympic dream for 2020 will come to an end.
Ireland squad: Kathy Baker (Blackrock College/Leinster), Megan Burns (Tullamore/Leinster), Stacey Flood (Railway Union/Leinster), Louise Galvin (UL Bohemians/Munster), Eve Higgins (Railway Union/Leinster), Brittany Hogan (Railway Union/Ulster), Emily Lane (Mallow/Munster), Lucy Mulhall (Rathdrum), Amee-Leigh Murphy-Crowe (Railway Union/Munster), Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird (Old Belvedere/Munster), Audrey O’Flynn (Ireland 7s Programme), Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Ireland Women's 7s Pool C
Results - Saturday, 13 July: Ireland 48-0 Romania; Ireland 50-0 Czech Republic; Ireland 5-19 Spain
Fixtures - Sunday, 14 July: Ireland v England, 9.06am Irish time