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Ireland's World ambition is to beat the hosts

By Pat Smith

Ireland are determined to beat hosts France in tomorrow's battle for third place to end a memorable Women's World Cup on a real high.

Tania Rosser, who came out of retirement for the tournament, knows Ireland have to move on quickly from the 40-7 semi-final defeat to England.

"We have to stay positive. It hurts but we have to go again," urged the 36-year-old.

"We can still finish third which would be a huge achievement. We set out to make the last four but we really thought we could get to the final and give ourselves a shot at winning it.

"We can't let ourselves or our supporters stay down about this. We're so grateful to everyone that travelled over and we know how well we've been supported back home.

"It's important that we get that third place finish. Irish women's rugby has come on leaps and bounds in recent years and it would be great to keep that going."

Meanwhile, England centre Emily Scarratt expects the Red Rose to finally shed the label of World Cup bridesmaids tomorrow evening.

Scarratt was part of the side which lost the World Cup final at home four years ago – the third successive time England had fallen at the final hurdle to New Zealand.

But New Zealand's failure to make the last four this time – the favourites fell to Ireland – has opened the door for England and Canada to contest the final before a 20,000 sell-out crowd at the Stade Jean-Bouin in Paris.

The two sides shared a 13-13 draw in the group stages but Scarratt insists England – who have waited 20 years for a World Cup triumph – have learned their lessons from that hard-fought encounter.

"I understand why people are saying that we are favourites, but I feel we are going into this game as equals," Scarratt said.

"We both came through our group to win our semi-finals and it's going to be a real test.

"Favourites or no favourites, we have to go out and perform and use the skills.

"I think our execution can make the difference.

"If we execute our skills properly, build a platform and keep our heads clear then I believe we can win."

Belfast Telegraph


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