Ireland to play England in semi-final

Win over Kazakhstan books place in Rugby World Cup last four where England await

Ireland’s Sophie Spence and Gillian Bourke celebrate the win over Kazakhstan. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Ireland’s Sophie Spence and Gillian Bourke celebrate the win over Kazakhstan. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Sat, Aug 9, 2014, 21:51

Ireland will play England in the women’s rugby world cup semi-final next Wednesday at Stade Jean Bouin at 5pm (Irish time).

The same English side that beat them 17-10 at Twickenham last March. The same England side that couldn’t put them away that night despite dominating possession and territory.

That’s something, but so are the frailties they showed in yesterday’s 12-12 draw with the impressive Canadians, who now face tournament favourites France (also Wednesday at 7.45pm) after they beat Australia 17-3.

“It’s a great achievement to reach a World Cup semi-final especially if you look at where we have come from,” said Ireland coach Philip Doyle this evening. “In every World Cup we have improved and to be guaranteed fourth is special but we are not satisfied with that.”

Earlier Ireland beat Kazakhstan 40-5 to win Pool B but the big story of the last round of Pool matches was a cruel one for defending champions New Zealand. As they ended their warm-up before facing the USA word filtered down from the main stand about England and Canada drawing.

That made it impossible for the Blacks Ferns to make the top four as the best runners-up, making their 34-3 defeat of America irrelevant to those with aspirations of “winning a cup,” as Ireland captain Fiona Coghlan stated was Ireland’s intention in France.

Some 15,000 tickets of the 20,000 capacity have already been sold for semi-finals.

Roughly 18,000 tickets have been sold for the final next Sunday, also in Paris at Stade Jean Bouin.

Semi-finals

Wednesday, August 13th

Ireland v England, Stade Jean Bouin, 5pm

France v Canada, Stade Jean Bouin, 7.45

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