Women's Rugby World Cup
A last minute Irish try wasn t enough to secure Ireland a win on Monday night in Canada as Scotland prevailed by a point in a fiercely contested game.
Scottish flanker Susie Brown opened the scoring early in the game following a strong run from number 10 Erin Kerr to give her side a 5-0 lead which prevailed right to half time.
In the second half, Ireland built up momentum with several well-placed kicks and they threatened to score from a scrum deep in Scottish territory just minutes in but number 8 Joy Neville was stopped by Scotland s strong defence.
Scotland maintained possession, driving into Ireland s 22 and when centre Rimma Petlevannaya found a huge hole in Ireland s rearguard she was only prevented from scoring by a last ditch tackle by Jeannette Feighery.
Scotland captain Paula Chalmers knocked over a penalty to take to the lead out to 8-0 but Ireland were defiant and after hard yards up front they worked through several phases to set up a lineout metres out and lock Geri Healy rolled off the maul to dot down near the sideline, and Ireland were on the board at 8-5.
Scotland applied immediate pressure on the return, working their way deep into the Ireland half with a backline breakaway down the middle. Chalmers saw referee Nicky Inwood signal for advantage after an Irish offside infringement and seeing a half gap and knowing she had nothing to lose, she executed a successful drop goal the first of the tournament to see Scotland lead 11-5 with little time remaining.
Not willing to give up, Ireland hit right back with the pace and continuity they had searched for the entire match.
Fly half Joanne O Sullivan found a hole to run 30 metres, setting off a series of well-paced passes to her backline. The back three communicated well to charge right to the line and wing Feighery touched down right near the touch line.
The screaming crowd fell silent as Grace Davitt s conversion sailed just left of the posts, leaving Scotland 11-10 victors.
Scotland advance to play the USA for fifth place in Commonwealth Stadium on Sunday while Ireland face Australia for seventh place on Saturday.
New Zealand's dream of winning three IRB Women's Rugby World Cups in a row is still alive after they defeated France 40-10 at Ellerslie Rugby Park in Edmonton, Canada.
They will meet England in the final after the finalists from 2002 defeated Canada in a cliffhanger of a second semi final 20-14. England looked to have the beating of their opponents up front, but Canada full back Heather Moyse gave a virtuoso performance to make it a nerve-racking final few minutes for England.
USA defeated Australia for the second time in four days, but this time by the more convincing margin of 29-12.
Spain captain Isabel Rodriguez scored a last-minute try to give her side a come-from-behind 17-12 victory over Kazakhstan at Ellerslie. They will play Samoa, who defeated South Africa 43-10 at St Albert.
IRELAND are to play Australia in their last Women s World Cup outing on Saturday, following their one-point loss to Scotland on Tuesday.
The Walloroos lost 29-12 to the USA in their game this week and the winners of their clash against Ireland will finish the tournament in seventh place.
For Ireland this would be some achievement, considering their two early losses and their initial seeding of tenth at the outset of the tournament, but a win is vital against a team they have never played before.
Australia are a strong women's nation and in this tournament have beaten South Africa, and narrowly lost to France and the USA.
They will be determined to finish on a high at the tournament.
New Zealand and England will contest the final on Sunday at the Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton.
Ireland: Sarahjane Belton (capt); Jeanette Feighery, Lynne Cantwell, Grace Davitt, Nuala Ni Chadhain; Jo O'Sullivan, Tania Rosser; Fiona Coghlan, Jean Lonergan, Gillian McAllister, Caroline Mahon, Germaine Healy, Orla Brennan, Rachel Boyd, Joy Neville.
Replacements used: Marie Barrett for McAllister (half-time), Eimear O'Sullivan for Brennan (59 mins), Yvonne Nolan for Lonergan (61).
Scotland: Lucy Millard; Rhona Shepherd, Rimma Petlevannaya, Veronica Fitzpatrick, Chris Ovenden; Erin Kerr, Paula Chambers (capt); Lynne Reid, Iona Frickleton, Karen Findlay, Jilly McCord, Lindsay Wheeler, Susie Brown, Donna Kennedy, Clare Muir.
Replacements used: Shona Watt for Brown (6-9 mins), Lynsey Douglas for Ovenden (30), Gail Russell for Frickleton (half-time), Sarah Mee for Findlay, Shona Watt for Kennedy (both 52), Heather Lockhart for Reid (62), Elizabeth Dalgliesh for Chalmers (78).
Referee: Nicky Inwood (New Zealand)