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Irish women march into World Cup ‘semis’

Ireland 40, Kazakhstan 5: IRELAND’S women’s team showed their strength in depth today in France with their ‘second string’ nailing the country’s first ever semi-final spot in their World Cup history. It was close in the first half as this new-look fifteen got to grips with their physical opponents who had got back into the game at 7-5 after Svetlana Karatygina scored a try for Kazakhstan after sustained pressure. Tries by Sharon Lynch and a spectacular one from Tania Rosser put Ireland into a 14-5 half-time lead and three tries in a six minute spell, a penalty try and one each from Siobhan Fleming and Sharon Lynch kept the scoreboard ticking over. Vikkie McGinn chipped in with a late try to give Philip Doyle’s charges a comfortable victory. Ireland’s semi-final will take place next Wednesday and is sure to attract a record number of viewers for women’s rugby on this island. The girls in green will face either France or Australia. Speaking after the game, Ireland captain Lynn Cantwell said: “The first half was tough, but that is what we expected against Kazakhstan. We have used our whole squad well and we are delighted with the result. “There were nerves early on, but I think we had it under control.” New Zealand are out of the competition although they won their final game in the pool 34-3 against the USA. England and Canada drew 13-13 which meant that the Black Ferns failed to get one of the last semi-final places. In the other game this Saturday, Australia lost 3-17 to France.

The semi-finals could now see Ireland play England and France take on Canada.

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