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Sheehan debut try not enough for Ireland Women

Sheehan debut try not enough for Ireland Women

Laura Sheehan’s debut score was not enough for Ireland as their first clash of the autumn ended in a 19-10 defeat to USA.

USA – who finished fourth at last year’s Rugby World Cup – went over three times through Kimber Rozier, Kaitlyn Broughton and Meya Bizer. 

Ireland – in their first game since this year’s Women’s Six Nations, had winger Sheehan streak clear down the left in the first half and claimed a late consolation from Eimear Considine. 

But in truth, they were outmatched in the end by an impressive American outfit at the end of their autumn after defeats to New Zealand and England. 

The USA are currently ranked fifth in the world – three places above their hosts – and after a scrappy start it was they who struck first when Rozier went over and converted herself. 

Adam Griggs’ side got to work soon after with Michelle Claffey carrying well and Ciara Griffin a threat at the breakdown. 

But when Broughton was not held down the right and got up to dive over for USA’s second, the hosts at Energia Park were in a hole at 12-0. 

However, Sheehan – who was making her first start alongside Lauren Delany – gave Ireland hope with a stunning breakaway down the left after Claffey released her. 

The debutant was at it again early in the second half with a searing break but the second Irish try did not come as USA kept them at bay. 

And when Bizer broke through and carried deep into the 22, before a few phases later finishing out wide on the left USA were in control.

Rozier added a fine conversion and while late Irish pressure – with 16-year-old Beibhinn Parsons catching the eye off the bench – brought Considine a deserved score, Rob Cain’s Americans held on for the victory. 

PLAYER WATCH

Laura Sheehan looked to the manor born on her debut for Ireland with a fine score but the player of the match for ireland was undoubtedly skipper Ciara Griffin. 

Alongside the experienced Claire Molloy in the Irish back row, Griffin was a constant pest at the breakdown and led her side impressively throughout. 

KEY MOMENT

Ireland’s hopes of a second-half fightback were ended when USA full-back Meya Bizer started and finished a sweeping move from their own half in the left corner. 

Rozier added a fantastic touchline conversion and the USA side had a 14-point cushion that proved more than enough. 

STAT WATCH

– Rob Cain’s side have already played two November Tests, with the Eagles defeated in tough matches against England and New Zealand.

– Ireland have won only two of their seven matches against the USA, but both of those came over their last four meetings.
– This was the Eagles first win since they beat Spain 43-0 last August and have triumphed in only three of their last 14 matches.

– Beibhinn Parsons became the youngest player to wear the green of Ireland in a senior international match, male or female, and was be the first 16-year-old to turn out for the nation.