The Ireland Women (sponsored by TritonLake) enjoyed a dream final day in Perth as they upset highly-fancied Australia to win their first ever HSBC SVNS Series tournament.
The trophy-clinching 19-14 victory represents another milestone achievement for the IRFU Sevens Programmes, coming just minutes after the Ireland Men had finished the Australian leg as bronze medal winners, having beaten Fiji 24-7.
This historic first SVNS Series title success – for either the Men or Women – comes just six months before both Irish teams compete at the same Olympic Games for the first time.
Eve Higgins’ fourth try in as many games was the difference in a Cup final that was on a real knife-edge throughout. Converted scores from Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, who finished the weekend with six tries, and Lucy Mulhall had Ireland leading 14-7 at half-time.
Back from suspension, Teagan Levi levelled for the SVNS Series leaders before Allan Temple-Jones’ charges snatched back control at a sold-out HBF Park and silenced the home crowd.
The Ireland Women, who previously won silver (Seville) and bronze (Langford) during the 2021/22 season, worked Higgins over from 10 metres out before coolly seeing out a result which ended their 29-match losing streak against Australia.
Earlier, captain Mulhall had been hugely influential in only a second victory in eight Cup semi-final appearances for the girls in green. The newly-married Wicklow native bagged a brace of tries in a 31-7 triumph over Great Britain, before starring as the HSBC player of the final.
The only previous time the Ireland Women had beaten Australia was back in 2013 on their World Series debut in Guangzhou, China. A late penalty from Claire Keohane saw them prevail 15-14, with Jeannette Feighery and Alison Miller the try scorers.
Ireland’s current squad, which includes the newly-capped Vikki Wall and fellow SVNS Series newcomer Lucinda Kinghan, picked up 20 SVNS Series points in Perth, which lifts them from seventh place up to fourth in the overall standings.
They are just six points behind Olympic hosts France, in third. The SVNS Series resumes with back-to-back events in Vancouver (February 23-25) and Los Angeles (March 1-3) – New Zealand, Brazil, and South Africa will join the newly-crowned Perth champions in Pool A in Canada.
Queue the celebration!
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