Ireland have fallen to a 27-5 defeat in the opening round of the Biarritz leg of the World Sevens Series.
Stan McDowell’s side took on Australia and with just one win in 14 meetings with the Aussies heading into this fixture, Ireland certainly had an uphill battle on their hands.
Ireland were under pressure from the off when Eve Higgins’ kick-off didn’t go 10 metres which resulted in possession for Australia.
The southern hemisphere side went through the phases before Ireland were penalised at the breakdown for not releasing the tackler.
The quick-tap penalty had Ireland on the back foot and it was Emma Tonegato who found the gap to score the first try of the game which was converted to give Australia an early 7-0 lead.
A botched lineout saw Australia win turnover possession and a linebreak which was stopped just short of the Irish line was only a brief respite as they spread the ball wide with a massive overlap for Evania Pelite to touch down in the corner to extend their lead to 12-0.
In almost a carbon-copy of Australia’s second try, Ireland’s opponents found the space out wide for Tonegato to touch down in the corner to leave the halftime score at 17-0.
Ireland got off to a great start in the second half when Stacey Flood reacted quickest to an offside call from the referee by quick-tapping the resulting penalty to steam through the Australian defence to get Ireland’s first try of the game. Unfortunately, the conversion attempt came off the post but the lead was narrowed to 17-5.
💬 "You can't ask for anything better than that.."
— World Rugby Sevens (@WorldRugby7s) June 15, 2019
However, Australia showed their class with a superb team-try which was finished off by Ellia Green before they rubbed salt into the wound with a final effort from Evania Pelite.
Up next for Ireland is a clash with Canada at 2:14 pm.