Life after the bandwagon leaves town – Irish women’s rugby battles for their credibility after nightmarish week

The national women’s rugby team are in a tough spot today, and not just because they face a must-see match against Italy to stay alive in next year’s World Cup qualifiers.

hey are also on the back foot more generally because the team’s profile has fallen off a cliff since the glory days of 2013-15. Last Monday, they played their first match in a four-team round robin, the winners of which will be granted automatic passage to the World Cup, to be held in New Zealand in October and November 2022.

It’s probably safe to say that more people knew about last Monday’s game after it was played, rather than before. Because Ireland was shocked by Spain, beaten 8-7 in a match that it largely dominated, according to information, and in which it wasted several scoring opportunities. The fourth team in the tournament is Scotland. They were beaten by Italy on Monday. The tournament takes place in Parma: Italy has a home advantage, as well as momentum, ahead of the clash with Ireland today. Spain face Scotland later tonight. The final phase of the matches will be played next Saturday. The group finalist will have a lifeline, a chance to travel to New Zealand via a final qualifying tournament, the dates and location of which are yet to be determined.

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