Ireland Finishes Fourth,
By Adam Farley, Deputy Editor
October / November 2014
The Women’s Rugby World Cup took place in France in August, and the Irish team, true to form, upset the whole tournament, even if they didn’t make it to the podium.
It started with a quarter-finals match against the New Zealand All Blacks, who have won the last four World Cups, and were expected to make it an unprecedented fifth victory. The All Blacks, in fact, hadn’t lost a World Cup match in 23 years. But the Irish team, led by captain Fiona Coghlan, put an end to that streak, beating the Black Ferns 17-14. Of course, going into the tournament, England was poised as New Zealand’s most able challenger. But with the win against the Southern Hemisphere foes, Ireland took their spot in the semi-finals against England.
That’s where the upsets ended, unfortunately, with a less comfortable 7-40 loss to the Queen’s team. In the third-place match against host-team France, the game was anybody’s until the 65th minute when Le Bleu earned a penalty. For the last 15 minutes, the Irish just couldn’t come back, ultimately losing 25-18.
But despite the loss, the team has increased not only the profile of rugby in Ireland, but women’s sports in general. “Any publicity is good,” Coghlan told The Irish Times. “If we’re being commented on how we play, good or bad, that’s what we want.”