DCU Ladies 7’s hopeful for Tokyo

Joshua Freeman

Anna Doyle in action for Leinster

The Irish women’s team impressed at the Dubai Rugby 7’s tournament, with DCU well represented, on the weekend of November 30th.

Ireland had a senior and development team represent them at the tournament with four DCU players between both teams.

Brittany Hogan played for the senior team, while Anna Doyle, Lucinda Kinghan, and Molly Scuffil-McCabe kitting out for the development team.

With both teams winning two of their three group games the players are looking to the future with high hopes.

“Our squad is aiming to qualify for the Olympics in 2020, this is a huge goal for everyone involved and if we keep improving the way we are I think it’s well within reach,” said Doyle.

After the senior team finished 8th and the development team 6th their claims would seem justified and the DCU link is something that is definitely playing its part along with the incredible drive for success.

“Myself and the girls train together four times a week within the sevens programme so we’re close and I can definitely call them all good friends of mine which makes playing together on the pitch that bit sweeter,” said Scuffil-McCabe when asked about her DCU team-mates.

It was Scuffil-McCabe’s second Dubai 7’s and the feeling of excitement only seems to be growing. “It’s always an amazing tournament!,” she said.

“So many people attend the venue and you always have Irish people who tend to be there and spot you playing and decide to stay and cheer you on which makes it all that bit better!,” she added when speaking of the Irish support abroad.

“The team this year had some great young talent who really put their mark down out there on the pitch and showed what they’re worth,” she said on the younger players coming through for Ireland.

In the tournament itself the senior team beat Russia 26-0, and Kenya 27-12. Following which they lost to overall winners New Zealand, 24-17, in their group, before losing to eventual runners-up Canada in the quarter-finals 24-7.

In their final two games they lost 22-17 to England and then fell to a 17-5 defeat to France sealing their 8th place finish.

The development squad lost to the Tribe 7’s 12-7 in their first game before going on to win 29-17 against the Phoenix 7’s and comfortably winning Germany 33-0.

They went on to play the Arukas Queen Kumagaya team in the quarter finals, losing 19-0 and finished with a 42-12 loss to the Delta Drones in the 5th/6th place playoff.

The next round of women’s 7’s series takes place in Sydney from the 1st to the 3rd of February 2019 with three tournaments in Japan, Canada and France to follow.

Ireland will be hoping to qualify for the Toyko 2020 Olympics by aiming to finish in the top four of the world series.

If they fail with this route, they will have a chance to qualify through either the regional association tournament or at the World Rugby Olympic Repechage tournament with DCU’s young guns up for the challenge.

Joshua Freeman

Image Credit: Matt Browne / Sportsfile.