Ireland have enjoyed their best season on the sevens circuit but Stacy Flood believes the best is yet to come.
After finishing fourth in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and claiming podium finishes in Spain and Canada, Ireland head to Cape Town and as a challenger for the Rugby World Cup Sevens.
They will face Brazil in their opening match on Friday (1.54 pm Irish time).
“It’s been really exciting, a good season for us,” Flood told RT Sport. “But we want to keep building and not just show off once or twice.
“All year we’ve been building and getting better and I think people are starting to see it, and it’s even more promising, so hopefully we can judge ourselves this weekend “
The World Cup brings back happy memories for Flood, one of five members of the current squad, who finished sixth four years ago in San Francisco, where they beat England 19-14 in their opening match.
“That was one of my favorite games ever, we beat England,” she said. “It was also the knockouts, so taking them out of the World Cup, I think it was a little sweet that it was England.
“My second favorite game from this year is in Seville, reaching the final. Obviously we didn’t win but that was my favorite tournament, and it was the World Cup before that, so hopefully there’s something special in this World Cup Bring it for us too.”
Ireland are handed a tough draw, with New Zealand being their potential rivals in the quarter-finals and France or Fiji in the semi-finals.
But confidence is high after those performances in Seville, where they beat Brazil in the pool stages – Flood scored in the opening attempt in a 29–12 victory – and beat Canada and England in the knockout stages before being knocked out by Australia in the final. thrown out.
Unlike the World Series, the World Cup is straight knockout, but enjoys a flood format.
“The structure is crazy, but at the same time I think it suits Sevens,” she said. “Because anything can happen in sevens. You can win or lose in the blink of an eye, so I think all-or-nothing bets are game-friendly.
“Yeah, it’s tough, but four games to win the World Cup, I don’t think you’ve heard that in many other sports.”
Ireland’s most recent meeting with Brazil took place at the final event of the World Series in Toulouse and was a very close affair. Twice the South Americans snatched a 17-14 breakthrough before a late brace from Ami-Leigh Murphy Crowe.
“It wasn’t our best game, but we got there in the end,” Flood said. “They’re a tough opponent, pretty quick. Hopefully we’ve got the right game plan to beat them and win.”
All 12 tries from Amy-Leigh Murphy Crow last weekend…
good thursday #irishragbee Twitter! I#ireland7s , @tritonlake
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) 5 May 2022
Efforts are guaranteed with Murphy Crowe in your line-up, giving Ireland the chance to fight against any opponent. The Tipperary Flyers finished as the top scorer in the World Series for the second time with 36 tries in 34 matches.
“Amy-Lay is a wonderful person and an amazing player on and off the field,” Flood said. “Her work rate and effort in everything she does, she is very hardworking and flexible.
“It’s an honor to play with her and play with someone who can do what she does over and over again.
“We’re so lucky to have him and he’s just a great team-mate. Thank goodness I wouldn’t want to play against him.”
Both represented Ireland in the XVs, Flood and Murphy Crowe became interested in audiences as their landmark series was made in Japan on behalf of Greg McWilliams.
With the IRFU offering 15 more sevens players 43 professional contracts, women’s rugby in Ireland is in a much better position than it was 12 months ago and weekends like this are too big for the game to continue.
“We want to be role models for people,” Flood said. “We want to see the names of Amy-Leigh Murphy Crowe, Lucy Mulhall, Beibeen Parsons, Erin King in the media, because they deserve and should be named in the media. You see those girls play and you recognize her, And whoever sees can see it.
“It’s about looking at other people and making sure the younger generation knows it’s a viable option for them if they want to go full-time and play rugby and do it as a career. feasible for them. The more there is, the better.”