IRELAND WERE GIVEN the fright of their lives against Japan in the Women’s Rugby World Cup – only for Donegal’s Nora Stapleton to save the day.
The side managed by Tom Tierney were 14-0 down at half-time but managed to pull it from the fire to win 24-14 in an edgy affair at the Belfield Bowl. Stapleton, a native of Fahan, was coolness personified as she kicked four from four – three conversions and an all-important penalty to edge Ireland 17-14 in front seven minutes from time.
Stapleton was named Player of the Match, while Larissa Muldoon from Cappry, Ballybofey, was rested having scored a try in Ireland’s 19-17 win on Wednesday evening against Australia.
Ireland were in trouble at half-time, with a penalty try and a Shimizu touching down to give Japan a 14-point lead and captain Katie Fitzhenry was yellow-carded soon after the restart.
Six minutes into the second half, Alison Miller scored and Irish try to begin with comeback, with Stapleton converting. Paula Fitzpatrick, though, scored two late tries, the second of which came from the last play of the day.
Ireland will in all likelihood need to beat France on Thursday evening to reach the semi-finals. The French take on Australia later this evening.Tags: