Rugby

Utter Heartbreak For Ireland As Scotland End World Cup Hopes With Final Kick

Utter Heartbreak For Ireland As Scotland End World Cup Hopes With Final Kick

Ireland's Rugby World Cup dreams came crashing down as a last minute Scotland try gave them a last minute 20-18 win.

It now mean's Adam Griggs' side won't be a part of the 2022 World Cup as they finish below the Top 2 in the European Qualifying Tournament.

Despite a comeback from Ireland in the second half that saw them lead with minutes left, Scotland would have the final say.

They drew the game level in the dying minutes with a last gasp try, and the resulting conversion shattered Ireland's World Cup hopes.

It was an utterly devastating finish for Ireland in what was a highly competitive game of rugby.

A Mixed First-Half

The game started off tensely with neither side breaking the deadlock early. Eimear Considine made a big tackle on Scotland's Megan Gaffney which slowed the Scots down inside 10 minutes.

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A few handling errors cost the Irish, with an Irish attack stifled as Beibhinn Parsons knocked on Cliodhna Moloney's pass on the break.

Then came the first try. Linda Djougang made a strong run through the Scottish defence before the twenty minute mark to touch down the ball near the corner.

Stacey Flood couldn't convert the ball afterwards, which followed more unfortunate circumstances for Ireland as Edel McMahon was sinbinned for a high tackle after 24'.

Scottish out-half Helen Nelson answered with the penalty conversion, leaving it 5-3. Ten minutes after, Ireland were dealt a blow as Eimear Considine made way for a head injury.

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Then, before half-time, there was a lovely passage of play for Scotland. Nelson putting through Rhona Lloyd with a stylish lob ball as the Scots touched down the ball past the try-line.

No conversion for Nelson after the fact. 8-5 going into half-time.

Better Second-Half

A strong Scottish maul near the Irish try-line resulted in Scotland's second try in the second-half - thanks to the efforts of hooker Lana Skeldon.

Sarah Law failed to convert for Scotland after coming on for the injured Helen Nelson. Ireland were well and truly up against it at 13-5.

Then Ireland launched a response in attack, as a slew of passes couldn't find it's way past the try-line. Eventually, they were awarded a penalty and Stacey Flood converted.

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Ireland were relentless running at the Scots thereafter, with breaks from Linda Djougang and Beibhinn Parsons. Eventually, Lindsay Peat found her way through for the try.

Flood converted and Ireland took a 15-13 lead, before the Irish out-half kept up her fine form on the boot with a penalty conversion to make it 18.

The pressure was kept on by the Irish as they ran at the Scots for the resulting ten minutes or so. Eve Higgins was sent to the sinbin as Scotland reversed the momentum.

The Resulting Heartbreak

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Then it was the devastating blow. Down to 14 players, Ireland didn't have the coverage to stop Chloe Rollie from going through for a try.

With the game tied 18-18, it was all down to Sarah Law to decide who would go through. Law delivered heartbreak to the Irish players and fans watching, as she converted the score.

Game over. 20-18 to Scotland and Adam Griggs' side will now finish below the Top 2 in the EQT Pool, leaving them without a spot in the 2022 World Cup.

After the game, the emotions were high, both in the RTÉ commentary and on the pitch. Players and management consoled each other as Ireland's World Cup run had come to an end.

A very difficult end to what was a claustrophobic qualifying to start with. The 2025 World Cup expansion from 12 to 16 teams will be welcomed.

See Also: Watch: Brooks Koepka Slammed After Heated Exchange With Ryder Cup Referees

Jonathan Byrne

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