Ireland Vs Australia – Match 1
So Ireland are off and running after a narrow 2 point win over Australia in the opening game of the 2017 World Cup for both teams. Given that England, New Zealand and Canada had but down markers earlier in the day with big wins, it was crucial that Ireland got off to a winning start and they did that but only just…
It took Ireland 20 minutes to get into the game, but once they found some rhythm they were about to put a few moves together. Larissa Muldoon got the opening score for Ireland and Nora Stapleton was successful with conversion.
Australia used there forwards to great effect by crashing the ball up the middle and then changing the point of attack at will , they really utilised some tactics used in 7s and transferred that to the 15s game. Players like Sharni Williams and skipper Shannon Parry to the fore for most of the game.
Ireland will know they will need to improve in attack and defence before they face Japan on Sunday evening. Ireland were under real pressure in defence and withstood the onslaught from Australia. In attack Ireland went round the corner and then spread the ball wide to Sene Naoupu and Jenny Murphy.
At times the Irish attack lacked real depth and they seemed to be going over and back in front of the Australian defence and they looked really stuck when it came to trying to break down the defence. Hopefully by the time the Japan game rolls around on Sunday Tom Tierney and his staff will have a plan to help restart the Irish attack.
Looking to what Ireland did well, they did defend from minute 1 and the work that has been put in at that aspect of the game is plain to see. Some of the Irish kicking left a lot to be desired and this will also need to improve from here on in.
Australia although they don’t play too many games in 15s against to opposition that fact didn’t seem to hold them back last night and they managed to almost upset the script but of course if sport was all about the perfect script then nobody would get involved. Last night’s game was the ideal finish to a day of one sided contests but the one thing day 1 did deliver is that the cream always rises to the top no matter the sport.
All the heavy hitters came to fore and did what was expected and more , England put 56 points on Spain , New Zealand put 44 points on Wales after a tough encounter , Canada hell bent on gaining revenge for the 2014 World Cup final defeat showed newcomers Hong Kong no mercy by scoring 98 unanswered points.
Back to Ireland, the Irish bench had a big part to play as two subs namely Sophie Spence and Ciara Griffin came on and scored the vital tries to eventually saw Ireland home by 2. The Ireland squad showed terrific resolve last night to find themselves in trouble but then to know how to fix the issues and find the way to win.
It’s now onto Japan on Sunday, and hopefully it will be more of the same from Ireland who have plenty to work on before match day 2. A mention too for the support last night, 3,500 people packed out the venue and made great noise in support of the girls in green. You can but not be infected by the nonstop support. Here’s hoping Sunday will bring more of the same….. It can’t come around quick enough…….
Cian Mc Gibney