Ireland secure huge victory over New Zealand at Women’s Rugby World Cup

Niamh Briggs kicked the winning penalty

Niamh Briggs kicked the winning penalty

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Ireland caused a massive shock at the Women’s Rugby World Cup on Tuesday by defeating four-time winners New Zealand.

The Irish came from behind to claim a sensational victory over the reigning champions and put themselves within touching distance of a historic semi-final place.

Philip Doyle’s team Look assured of reaching the semis following their opening win against the USA at the weekend – they will now play Kazakhstan in their final Pool B game on Saturday.

New Zealand full-back Selica Winiata scored the first try of Tuesday’s game but the Irish responded and were just 8-7 down at half-time after a try by Heather O’Brien.

Alison Miller’s touchdown in the 63rd minute proved crucial for Ireland, with Niamh Briggs converting both tries and kicking a penalty when the game was locked at 14-14 in the second half.

Ireland now top Pool B on eight points with New Zealand and the USA, who meet each other on Saturday, on six.

It was the first time Ireland’s women had played the Black Ferns.

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