Belfast Telegraph

Ireland lose Women's Rugby World Cup place as tournament ends in defeat

Ireland's disastrous home World Cup ended with catastrophic defeat to Wales at Kingspan Stadium.

The loss left Ireland ranked eighth in the tournament and cost them an automatic place in the next Women's Rugby World Cup.

Defeat to France had dumped the hosts out of the main competition in the group stages before a 36-24 loss to Australia kept Ireland's out of even the fifth/sixth place play-off.

And Saturday's 27-17 defeat to Wales capped off a miserable tournament for Tom Tierney's side.

Ireland got off to a bright start when Paula Fitzpatrick scored her third try of the tournament 12 minutes in. Nora Stapleton converted and the hosts were seven points to the good but by the half-hour mark, Wales had reeled them in and taken a 10-7 lead.

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Ireland's Nicole Cronin celebrates after team-mate Paula Fitzpatrick scored a try.

A Robyn Wilkins penalty got the Welsh on the score-sheet and on 30 minutes Caryl Thomas touched down for Wilkins to convert.

Into the second half and it went from bad to worse for the Irish as Sioned Harris scored a converted try that was backed up with Wales' third try of the afternoon to make it 22-7.

Lyndsey Peat hauled Ireland over the line to narrow the gap to 10 points once again but that provided only brief hope as Shona Powell-Hughes soon touched down for Wales.

Katie Fitzhenry finished the scoring at 17-27 but ending the tournament with a late try with be scant consolation for the Ireland side.

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