Irish players 'heartbroken' after World Cup exit

Irish players 'heartbroken' after World Cup exit

By Brendan O'Brien

Ireland coach Tom Tierney has described his squad of players as "heartbroken" after a defeat to France on Thursday night that ended their Women's Rugby World Cup dream.

A 21-5 Pool C defeat to their Six Nations counterparts in UCD, in what was a must-win game, has consigned the tournament hosts to the margins where they will scrap for the higher minor placings as the entire operation moves on to Belfast next week.

The best they can finish now is fifth. France, on the other hand, will contest a semi-final with the reigning champions England. New Zealand take on the USA in the other.

"We're heartbroken," said Tierney. "The girls gave it everything. It wasn't meant to be but we have another tournament to get ready for now up in Belfast. It's not the tournament we wanted to be involved in but we have to take it on the chin tonight and tomorrow and move on."

Tierney praised his players for giving their all for the full 80 minutes. Their try arrived courtesy of Cliodhna Moloney in second-half injury time but the damage was done by the concession of three converted tries in the opening half-hour.

"At half time we knew we needed a big first ten minutes in the second-half and we had pressure in their 22 when they got the yellow card," said Tierney. "We don't plan to make mistakes, knock on or show poor discipline. We had chances but we just couldn't get over the line."

Ireland's pool campaign has been hurt by a string of mistakes on both sides of the ball, while questions will be asked about the tactical and strategic approach too, but team captain Claire Molloy boiled it all down to that early French barrage which Ireland were powerless to prevent.

"We let a very good French side come at us," said the back row. "We didn't have the ball and you can't play without it. They had it and they scored 21 points."

More in this Section

Ralph Hassenhuttl puts Southampton improvement down to rediscovering identityRalph Hassenhuttl puts Southampton improvement down to rediscovering identity

Spurs down Kings in overtimeSpurs down Kings in overtime

Anthony Joshua ‘grateful for having a second opportunity’ against Andy Ruiz JrAnthony Joshua ‘grateful for having a second opportunity’ against Andy Ruiz Jr

Allen and Maguire progress in UK ChampionshipAllen and Maguire progress in UK Championship


This Christmas remember that there is no such thing as cheap food.Buy local: Use your LOAF

As we wait, eager and giddy, a collective shudder of agitated ardor ripples through the theatre, like a Late, Late Toyshow audience when they KNOW Ryan’s going to give them another €150 voucher. Suddenly, a voice booms from the stage. Everyone erupts, whooping and cheering. And that was just for the safety announcement.Everyman's outstanding Jack and the Beanstalk ticks all panto boxes

Every band needs a Bez. In fact, there’s a case to be made that every workplace in the country could do with the Happy Mondays’ vibes man. Somebody to jump up with a pair of maracas and shake up the energy when things begin to flag.Happy Mondays create cheery Tuesday in Cork gig

More From The Irish Examiner