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Ireland Women Defeat South Africa

11th September 2006 By Munster Rugby

Ireland Women Defeat South Africa

Ireland have beaten South Africa 37-0 at the Women’s Rugby World Cup, picking up their first win of the tournament and securing a much needed bonus point in the process.

Ireland 37 South Africa 0

Women’s Rugby World Cup, Canada

Ireland have beaten South Africa 37-0 at the Women’s Rugby World Cup, picking up their first win of the tournament and securing a much needed bonus point in the process.

Ireland dominated the game from the outset as centre Grace Davitt s boot saw them take an early 3-0 lead. Number eight Joy Neville, one of the many stand-out Irish players on the night, crashed over for a try less than five minutes later and before the half there were also tries from scrum-half Tania Rosser, prop Fiona Coghlan and winger Jeannette Feighery to see Ireland lead 25-0 at the turn-around.

Twelve more points in the second half followed with tries from captain Sarahjane Belton, who was superb in attack from fullback and a dream debut for Cork ladies footballer Mariead Kelly saw her touch down within minutes of coming on the pitch. She finished off a super run by Belton to see her score on her first appearance at the tournament.

The win has pushed Ireland to up to eighth place ahead of Samoa, who were beaten by Spain, and they will play in the 5th-8th placed play-offs next week guaranteeing that they will finish higher than the 10th seed ranking they had when they started the competition.

Ireland: Sarahjane Belton (capt); Jeanette Feighery, Lynne Cantwell, Grace Davitt, Suzanne Fleming; Joanne O’Sullivan, Tania Rosser; Fiona Coghlan, Jean Lonergan, Marie Barrett, Caroline Mahon, Rosie Foley, Orla Brennan, Rachel Boyd, Joy Neville.

Replacements: Yvonne Nolan (J Lonergan 70), Laura Guest (for M Barrett 75) Germaine Healy (for R Foley 53), Eimear O’Sullivan (for O Brennan 63), Mairead Kelly (for S Fleming 70) , Nuala Ni Chadhain (for L Cantwell 70) , Shannon Houston (for G Davitt 70)

South Africa: Zandile Nojoko; Yolanda Meiring, Ingrid Botha (capt), Zolisa Noxeke, Natasha Hofmeester; Marie-Lee Erasmus, Saloma Booysen; Louise Du Pisanie, Babalwa Vena, Cebisa Kula, Dolly Mavumengwana, Wendy Adlem, Wendy Khumalo, Nadine Barnard, Mandisa Willams.

Referee: Clare Daniels (England)

Touch Judges: Sarah Corrigan (Australia), Christine Hanizet (France)

Ireland will play Scotland on Tuesday in a bid to finish as high as fifth in the final placings at the Women’s Rugby World Cup following their win over South Africa on Friday night.

Scotland, despite a brave performance against New Zealand, which saw them trail 6-0 at half time, end up in fifth place, thanks to an inferior points difference to Canada and France. Ireland’s win saw them climb the table to finish 8th – aided by Spain’s shock win over Samoa.

Ireland beat Scotland just a week before their departure for the World Cup and if they win they could finish fifth in the final table – a remarkable feat considering their two early losses against France and the USA.

New Zealand finished top of the pool standings at the IRB Women’s Rugby World Cup after defeating Scotland 21-0 and will play France in the semi finals.

England also retained their unbeaten run, defeating France 27-8, and they will play Canada in the other semi.

USA defeated Australia 10-6, but results elsewhere meant that they finished sixth and will play the Wallaroos once again in the first knockout stage.

Spain’s surprise 14-12 win over Samoa at Ellerslie Rugby Park allowed Ireland to sneak into eighth position and, with it, a chance of finishing fifth overall.

Samoa will play South Africa and Spain will face Kazakhstan in the first knockout round to decide positions 9-12.

The first knockout round, including the semi finals, takes place on Tuesday 12 September.

Alison Donnelly

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