first_imgNora celebrates with her team mates at the final whistleDONEGAL’S Nora Stapleton played a key role as Ireland’s women rugby team beat the All Blacks 17-14 in the Rugby World Cup in France – almost certainly guaranteeing them a place in the semi-finals.Tries in each half from Heather O’Brien and Alison Miller saw the girls in green achieve an historic win over the four-time World Cup winners, with Ireland men’s head coach Joe Schmidt and out-half Jonathan Sexton both in attendance in Marcoussis.The Black Ferns, who boasted a 20-match unbeaten World Cup run since the 1991 semi-finals, led 8-7 at half-time thanks to a Selica Winiata try against the run of play. Kelly Brazier’s second penalty of the evening extended their advantage to 11-7, but Philip Doyle’s charges defended doggedly in a tight third quarter and Niamh Briggs countered brilliantly to create Miller’s lung-busting score on the hour mark.Briggs followed up with a stunning conversion from the touchline and although Brazier managed to bring New Zealand level at 14-all, a final penalty from Briggs with 10 minutes left was enough to seal a stunning victory.Their second successive triumph in Pool B means Ireland are on course to reach the semi-finals for the first time. They will aim to book that place in the last-four when they play Kazakhstan on Saturday afternoon.It’s an incredible journey for Fahan woman Nora – and of course former Mac Cumhaills gaelic footballer Larissa Muldoon on the replacements bench. And it may just have some way to go!IRELAND WOMEN v New Zealand: Niamh Briggs (UL Bohemians/Munster); Ashleigh Baxter (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster), Lynne Cantwell (Richmond/Exile), Grace Davitt (Cooke/Ulster), Alison Miller (Portlaoise/Connacht); Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Tania Rosser (Blackrock/Leinster); Fiona Coghlan (UL Bohemians/Leinster) (capt), Gillian Bourke (UL Bohemians/Munster), Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Sophie Spence (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Marie Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Paula Fitzpatrick (St. Mary’s College/Leinster), Claire Molloy (Bristol/Connacht), Heather O’Brien (Highfield/Munster).Replacements: Sharon Lynch (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Fiona Hayes (UL Bohemians/Munster), Laura Guest (Highfield/Munster), Siobhan Fleming (Tralee/Munster), Larissa Muldoon (Bristol/Exile), Jenny Murphy (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Vikki McGinn (Blackrock/Leinster).     DONEGAL RUGBY STARS’ DELIGHT AS IRELAND BEAT KIWIS IN WORLD CUP was last modified: August 5th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:IrelandLarissa MuldoonNew ZealandNora StapletonRUGBY WORLD CUPlast_img

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