Rugby World Cup

All over. Ireland beaten 40-7 by England in the Women's Rugby World Cup semi-final in Paris.

Gerry Thornley Wed, Aug 13
 
Ireland
7
v
England
40
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  • 16:34
    The Women's Rugby World Cup semi-final between Ireland and England in Paris is almost upon us (5pm). Gery Thornley will be here shortly to take you through the action and there will be a report from Gavin Cummiskey in France to follow.
  • 16:37
    Here's Gavin's preview from this morning's paper and the news that emerged today of Ireland fullback Niamh Briggs's inclusion on the shortlist for World Player of the Year.
  • 16:42
  • 16:47
  • 16:57
    Welcome everybody to updates from me, Gerry Thornley, on Ireland's first semi-final at the Women's World Cup. Paddy Power makes Ireland 4 point and 8/5 underdogs against the Six Nations champions England, who are 15/8 on favourites. If Ireland reach the final after shaking the world against New Zealand, they'll have earned it.
  • 17:00
    Lovely conditions. Huge crowd Always a buzz after Irish and English anthems. Big crowd at Stade Jean Bouin, Sky commentator clearly believes opportunity knocks for England after three successive losing finals to NZ. They're off.
  • 17:01
    Great work by flankers Paula Fitzpatrick and Claire Molloy, awesome against NZ, and Fiona Coughlan earns choke tackle turnover.
  • 17:04
    Yikes. Ominous first scrum by English pack. And then through the phases. Ireland perhaps a little fortunate to get scrum, which could be a mixed blessing. Away quickly by Heather O'Brien off the base.
  • 17:04
  • 17:07
    Again O'Brien is off the base quickly for Niamh Briggs. England go through phases again and with width, Ashleigh Baxter making a good tackle on and O'Brien winning relieving penalty at breakdown.
  • 17:09
    At last Nora Stapleton can start putting Ireland through the phases wth some width, as Alison Maher shows the speed strength and footwork which earned her a try against NZ, but again ref award relieving penalty for holding on.
  • 17:12
    Fitzpatrick makes what is in effect a third Irish steal at line-out time, so that offsets the scrum imbalance. Some more width by Ireland, Stapleton and Lynne Cantwell carrying hard before Briggs offloads to Grace Davitt. This is better!
  • 17:15
    Ireland within inches of opening try. Ireland showing real amibition with offloads by Briggs and Sofie Spence, who comes closest to scoring as they opt for the pick and jam with a penalty advantage. Kick to the corner and a maul over the line.............Ref is going to TMO!
  • 17:17
    Try Ireland! 14 mins. 5-0.
  • 17:20
    Briggs converts to make it 7-0. It's not clear which forward carried the ball over the line, but camera has focused on scrum-half Tania Rosser, who was more convinced than anyone of the score's legitimacy and, having applied downward pressure on the ball as if it dropped onto the line, may have scored the try as well. Game on and fair reward for Ireland's ambition and Fiona Coghlan's decision to go for the corner.
  • 17:21
    21 minutes gone now

    Ireland 7-0 England  
  • 17:25
  • 17:25
    Superb response, it has to be said, by England. Great depth width and handling as they go through two multiple phase attacks, the second of 11 phases, to earn attacking line-out. This could be an epic. Full-back Danielle Waterman, as expected, looks, very dangerous.
  • 17:26
    Try England. It had to come.
  • 17:28
    Loose-head Rochelle Clark plunges over after heroic defence. It had to come. Conversion missed though, so 7-5 to Ireland. Such is the heat that there's a drinks break.
  • 17:29
    27 minutes gone and the ball hardly appears to have been out of play. Will be a test of endurance, stamina and fitness as much as anything else at this rate. Plenty more points to come too.
  • 17:34
  • 17:36
    Two big English scrums earns a penalty which Emily Scarratt lands. 8-7 to England after 34 minutes.
  • 17:36
  • 17:38
    Try England. Katherine Merchant on the right wing in the corner.
  • 17:38
  • 17:39
    Deserved to be honest. Again it emanated from a scrum and a huge break by centre Scarratt before she was brilliantly hauled down by Baxter, but then England went wide right from wide left and stretched irish defence to breaking point. Scarratt even tags on the touchline conversion to put them 15-7 up.
  • 17:41
    England's carrying and recycling is taking its toll although Cantwell and Molloy are close to effecting turnovers.
  • 17:44
    Another big carry by Scarratt at outside centre, and for a second time (this time Briggs) is pinged at the breakdown. With the last kick of the half, Scarratt lands the penalty to make it 18-7 for England at half-time.
  • 17:46
    All in all, a cracking World Cup semi-final and Ireland did little wrong. They withstood the first English storm, responded with an ambitious wave of attacking of their own to take 7-0 lead, yet find themselves 18-7 down at the break. They need to somehow to stop England's recycling game, get the ball away quickly at scrum time, and impose their own recycling and offloading game. Next score has to be theirs.
  • 17:54
    Looking at the English tries again,As well as the strong carrying of Margaret Alphonsi and co, England's inside backs, outhalf Katy Mclean and inside centre Rachael Burford, are checking the drift and creating space for Scarratt very cleverly.
  • 17:56
    Similar pattern on resumption. Big tackle by Marie Louise Reilly on Gilchrist in midfield, and Baxter forces Merchant into touch, but Irish line-out creaks again.
  • 17:58
    Big tackle by Gillian Bourke forces a knock-on, but England's lines of running and continuity are very impressive again.
  • 17:58
  • 18:01
    England sort out their line-out with clever variation, and this time Burford beats Stapleton on her inside shoulder; Cantwell perfectly timing her try saving tackle on Scarratt but Molloy unluckily goes off her feet and Scarratt's penalty makes it 21-7.
  • 18:02
    48 minutes gone now
  • 18:02
  • 18:05
    Jenny Murphy, sprung from bench, puts in a big hit on Waterman and briefly Miller gets a run out wide, but once more Amy Perrett of Australia pings Ireland for holding on.
  • 18:12
    56 mins. Excellent try England working the space out wide for left winger Kay Wilson. Again, great pass by McLean. Gone to TMO.
  • 18:13
    Try alright. Scarratt miss conversion. 26-7 to England.
  • 18:14
  • 18:19
    Wonderful counter-attack from deep by England, instigated by Waterman. Fitzpatrick saves what wold probably have been try of the tournament, but England keep coming...
  • 18:20
    Actually t was Reilly's tackle. But it's a five metre scrum to England as they empty their bench with one eye on the inevitable final. That would have been a try against the vast majority of teams.
  • 18:27
    Nasty impact in tackle on Cantwell in clash with her opposite number Scarratt. Referee stops game immediately.
  • 18:30
    Cantwell is fine but goes off to be replaced by Casey. England are a serious;y impressive team. The only negative impact on their performance from all the subs is perhaps a dilution of their scrum. But their conditioning, skills sets, lines of running are very, very good.
  • 18:34
    70th minute and try to England. Superb line by Marlie Packer.
  • 18:37
    Conversion by Ceri Larte makes i t 33-7.But it's actually not a rout. Teams of lesser spirit and defensive organisation would have been beaten out the gate by this English team.
  • 18:38
    Another try by Packer. Made by delicious chip by Davitt, knowin that Briggs was not at home. A conversion by Large makes it 40-7. Would be nice if this ended soon!
  • 18:47
    All over. 40-7 to England, who are in their sixth final. That shows they've been longer at the cutting ede of this game than anyone bar NZ. It's probably their time. They will take some stopping now. Canada may have drawn with them and scored two tries to one in the last pool game, but Eng;and restored six of their front line line-up.
  • 18:49
    There was no shame for Ireland in losing this fine game, even if England ultimately won pulling away. England were better conditioned, bigger, have more numbers and are probably better financed. This Irish squad have had the best World Cup of any Irish adult team. England will beat France or Canada in the final.
  • 18:57
    Final thought, England's draw with Canada combined with Ireland beating NZ, effectively put New Zealand out of the tournament, thereby ensuring England can finally win it without facing their nemesis. Ireland's performances will have done wonders for the game in this country, most likely sewing the seeds for future World Cup campaigns.
  • 18:58
  • 19:07