Higgins shines as Ireland women’s team progress to Dubai 7s quarter-finals | News Bharat

EVE HIGGINS SCORED FOUR tries as Ireland 7s finished top of Group C after the opening day of the 7s in Dubai.

Aiden McNulty’s side today defeated Spain 21-7, Japan 31-24 and third favorites Fiji 24-17 to reach the quarter-finals.

They will now face Group A runners-up USA in the round of 16 tomorrow at 5.22pm Irish time. If the omens are anything to go by, Ireland defeated the United States 17-14 when they last met in May.

This will be Ireland’s fifth consecutive World Series Cup quarter-final appearance.

They didn’t start well against Fiji, Ana Maria Naimasi getting Fiji’s first try, before Higgins led the Irish response, injecting pace into a third-minute attack from a scrum. He eluded the clutches of Reapi Ulunisau on the edge of the Fijian 22 and attacked under the posts despite a committed chase from Naimasi.

Captain Lucy Mulhall put her side in front at 7-5, and after a Higgins through ball, Murphy Crowe had the pace to score after a Flood pass.

There was still time for Parsons to get another try beyond the half-time kick.

In the second half, a break from Murphy Crowe, combined with a turnover penalty won by Flood, kept Ireland playing in the right areas of the pitch and they were duly rewarded as 17-5 turned into 24 -5.

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Once again it was Higgins who unlocked a Fiji defense who were caught chasing. He got inside, broke free from 40 yards to score behind the posts. Mulhall’s conversion extended the margin to 19 points.

However, when substitute Kathy Baker picked Daveua up in the air from the restart, last season’s World Series bronze medalists punished the sin with quick-fire tries from Alowesi Nakoci and Lavena Cavuru, who had both come on from from the bench

Crucially, with Baker back on, Fiji fumbled their restart and Ireland were able to control possession from a final scrum, allowing Mulhall to kick the dead ball and ensure his side completed a clean sweep of pool wins.

Earlier, Parsons scored either side of half-time in Ireland’s 31-24 triumph over a fast-ending Japan. Murphy Crowe, Higgins and Mulhall also found the net before the Japanese made a late rally that provided two tries.

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