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Womens Rugby
Girls 7's Cup pictures
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A great day was had in Westport RFC recently at the Girls 7's cup final at both U15's and U18's. Ballina, Westport, Portumna, Ballinasloe and a Galwegian/Sligo combo fielded at U15's, with Ballinasloe playing Westport in the final. Both teams fought hard til the end, but Georgia Codyre from Ballinasloe lifted the cup in victory.
At U18's, Tuam, Westport, Ballina, Galwegians/Sligo combo and Ballinasloe competed for the senior cup, resulting in a WestportvBallina final. A great game from both Mayo sides was played, and Ballina were victorious, defeating Westport 15-0.​

Wendy Hickey, Connacnt Women's Development Officer, was delighted with the day. "The 7's competition worked well for Connacht this season because allowed the new clubs to grow their playing numbers by being able to fulfill fixtures on a regular basis. The game has grown immensely here in Connacht over the past few years, which can only bode well for the game in Ireland overall."

Clubs will be taking part in the Connacht Youths League in January which will be followed by a Cup competiton. Anyone interested in taking up rugby in Connacht can contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Photos (C) Connor McKeown Photography

 

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Buccaneers Women 14 12 NUIG Womens
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On home turf Buccaneers capitalised on two horrific first-half errors from the NUIG women and at 14nil up at the break, hunkered down into the wind to grind out a hard-won two-point victory in the Connacht Women's League on Sunday.

Without lynchpin midfielder Niamh Ni Dhroma (midweek knee operation) Buccaneers reshuffled livewire looseforward Tina Kiernan to 12 to join fellow backline newbie Hazel Kilduff. Far from embarrassing themselves both Tiernan and Kilduff shone throughout for Buccaneers ably-backed by footballer Fabienne Cooney at 15. 

SorTarpemail500Short a few hard-hitting forwards themselves, NUIG's pack toiled well into the wind but crowded each other in the early stages availing space farther out for the hosts.

NUIG skipper Rhona Julian had a clearance attempt charged on her own 22m. Buccs outhalf Colette McSpadden deftly toed it ahead, regathered on the line to score. She converted her own try.

Apathy and confusion conspired against the visitors for Buccaneers' second where NUIG sauntered back in open space to gather a Buccaneers clearance, found themselves isolated deep within their 22m and were simply caught for numbers too close to their posts. McSpadden again successful with the extras in off the upright.

NUIG opened the second half with the wind and spent all but two six-minute periods inside the Buccs' 40m. That said, Buccaneers withstood assault after assault in their own 22m surrendering a solitary try (and a yellow-card) with stoic goal-line defence. 

The try, a combined forwards-backs effort went to Marie Mongheal on the left wing who beat three in close quarters to crash over grandstand side scoreboard corner. Katie Kilbane gave the conversion every opportunity and was on-target but fell short two metres. 

Kiernan for Buccs carved off 45m with ball-in-hand 10minutes from time but was dragged down short by outhalf-cum-centre Sorcha Tarpey three or four strides from the NUIG goal-line. Kiernan, with Buccs captain and eight Emer Phelan and hooker supersub Mele Kiripati, dominated much of the one-on-one combat from the Midlanders' side; Edel McMahon, Kristen Romes and 

Julian the pick of the crop for the Westerners. NUIG fullback Kilbane (at outhalf for the second spell) quick-tapped on fulltime, covered half a pitch width and scored wide right, five in from touch. It was Buccaneers' frustrations redlining after a soaring second half penalty count against them which let Kilbane skip through a disorganised defence but it was too little too late for the tourists, 14-12 on full-time. 

 
Connacht Women's team named to face Leinster
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Connacht Women will heed little history tomorrow as they open their campaign against Leinster at Galwegians. While recent results favour the visitors, little separated the two in last week's pre-season clash. The only gaps of any consequence to skipper Ruth O'Reilly tomorrow are those she and her colleagues will seek to exploit.Heather Carey Connacht Womens
"This is a mobile squad. We have a gameplan to suit that mobility, and we've seen glimpses of it against Ulster and Leinster in the past few weeks. 
"We're all confident we can up the ante further and there's no more worthy an occasion than an interpro opener at home," she said.
Buoyed by 2013 Six Nations success and a best ever World Cup finish, Connacht is also riding high. Aside from a Branch contribution, the Women have also secured corporate assistance from Galway-headquartered The City Bin Co. 
And while The City Bin Co.'s iconic red colour scheme suggests allegiance to one of the other camps, marketing and online profile manager Oisin Browne said The City Bin Co. allegiance lay firmly with the locals.
"Women's rugby in Ireland is on the up. Our office is full of rugby fans and we share a common thread with these girls in that they're looking to make history, shake up the status quo, and take on the heavyweights. We wish them all the very best for September and we're right behind them," he said.
Forwards coach George Naoupu, a Super Rugby graduate from rugby stronghold Christchurch, has plied his trade to full effect over two stints with Connacht. Charged with steering the Galwegians Women last winter, he and 12 of this year's interpro squad enjoyed All-Ireland club success in 2014's Cup Championship.
"It's a big jump up in standard from club to rep rugby but it's great so many of this squad have tasted national success. You don't win All-Ireland medals by accident and all those involved know what it took to get there.
"They know they've a few fairly serious weeks ahead but they also know how to build a successful result from 80 short minutes of good footy. You do it in the first minute, and you do it through to the last."

Connacht Women’s Squad to face Leinster (15:00 Crowley Park, Dublin Rd, Galway):

15. Emer O Mahony (Tralee RFC)
14. Niamh Ni Droimha (Buccaneers RFC)
13. Emma Clery (Galwegians RFC)
12. Lisa McDonagh (Galwegians RFC)
11. Jill Draper (Tullamore RFC)
10. Nicole Fowley (Sligo RFC)
9. Mary Healy (Galwegians RFC)
1. Laura Feely (Galwegians RFC)
2. Ciara OConnor (Galwegians RFC)
3. Ruth O’Reilly (Galwegians RFC) CAPTAIN
4. Rita Breen (NUIG)
5. Marion Sheridan (Tuam RFC/ Galwegians RFC)
6. Grainne Egan (St. Mary’s)
7. Heather Cary (Galwegians RFC)
8. Christine Arthurs (Tralee RFC)

REPLACEMENTS:

16. Jean Moore (Portlaoise RFC)
17. Edel Durkin (Tuam RFC)
18. Edel McMahon (NUIG/ Galwegians RFC)
19. Darwyn O Halloran (Castlebar RFC)
20. Catriona Cassidy (Portlaoise RFC)
21. Rhona Julian (NUIG)
22. Jacqui Mulligan (Sligo RFC)

Management

Manager  Ann Marie Keane

Head Coach Luke O’Donnell

Forwards Coach  George Naoupu

S&C Coach  Martin Mc Kiernan

Video Analyst James Flaus

Physiotherapist  Maria Farrell

 

 
Girls Schools Rugby Programme 2014/15
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Connacht Rugby will be running blitzes and competitions for girls schools interested in playing contact and non contact rugby. The Play Rugby programme has been run in schools around Connacht in the past few years, and we would like to invite more schools to have the opportunity to participate. The focus at the start of the year is to increase participation in contact rugby in order to link this directly to the local rugby club.

The contact training will take place after school for 1 hour once/twice a week and coached by a Rugby Development Officer or coach from the local rugby club. Schools that are interested would need to have a member of staff available in the vicinity should an injury occur.

There are two categories this year - U15's for 1st to 3rd Years, and U18s for 4th to 6th years. 

If this is something that you think your school could be interested in, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , for more information and to confirm training times. Training sessions would start from September with blitzes schedules in October and November. Schools are asked to take part in both blitzes in their region, as well as the Cup competition.

Team size: Maximum of 10 per team (playing 7 a side)

Galway Region (Venues TBC)

  • Tuesday October 7th
  • Wednesday October 22nd

Mayo Region (Venues TBC)

  • Thursday October 9th
  • Tuesday October 21st

 

There will be a cup competition for both regions, in a venue to be decided, on November 20th.

 
IRFU Targets Next Generation of Women's Rugby Stars
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The Irish Rugby Football Union are aiming to capitalise on the success and interest in the recent Women's Rugby World Cup by supporting anyone who wants to develop girls minis rugby teams across the country with the launch of a new initiative – "Give it a Try – Girls minis”.
 
The IRFU developed a step-by-step guide and support pack, which includes balls, bibs and cones, to encourage parents, former players, potential volunteers and everyone else who may wish to develop a girls minis team in their locality – even if they have no background or experience playing rugby.
 
The guide will be issued to rugby clubs throughout the country, encouraging them to identify someone to develop a girls minis team and is also available on the Irish Rugby website, for those who are not yet affiliated with a club, but wish to learn more.  http://www.irishrugby.ie/downloads/IRFU_GirlsMinis1415.pdf
 
In addition the IRFU is re-launching its successful Give it a Try programme, which was introduced following the Grand Slam win of 2013 and resulted in an additional 14 clubs fielding women's teams, with open days taking place in clubs across the country.  Details of open days are available onwww.irishrugby.ie/giveitatry , with more clubs signing up each week.
 
The IRFU will also repeat its Play Rugby and Play Girls Rugby programmes, which last year resulted in almost 7,000 primary school girls and 5,500 secondary school girls partaking in variations of the game of rugby.
 
Nora Stapleton, Women & Girls Rugby Development Executive and member of the Ireland Women's Rugby Team, commented,
 
"Most rugby clubs encourage girls to join Mixed Minis Rugby but research has shown that when separate Boy and Girl sections are available more girls participate and continue to play and enjoy the game.  For this reason we are encouraging clubs, parents and anyone who wishes to help develop girls minis rugby to take up our invitation to "Give it a Try”.
 
Fiona Coghlan, captain of the Ireland Women's Team at the recent Women's Rugby World Cup in France, commented,
 
"The growing interest in women's rugby is really positive for the potential long term growth of the sport and the IRFU have identified a number of potential entry points for new players into the game.  It is encouraging that the Give it a Try programme is establishing a support framework to encourage as many girls and women as possible to play rugby.”

 
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