Hannah and Paula play their part in Ireland victory

IT MIGHT have been a somewhat ugly win, but Ireland are up and running in their Women's World Cup campaign following their 19-17 victory over Australia in last night's opener in UCD.

The tournament hosts, which included Tallaght's Paula Fitzpatrick and Clondalkin's Hannah Tyrrell, led 7-5 at the halftime break, Larissa Muldoon drawing first blood when she exploited a gap in the Australian cover to break over from close range before Nora Stapleton tagged on the extras.

Hannah Tyrrell 65203620044

Yet Australia fought back when Mahalia Murphy burst through, although crucially the conversion was missed.

In what was an error-strewn performance, Ireland fell behind to a Shannon Parry touchdown, but again Samantha Treherne failed to convert.

Some stregth-sapping work by the Irish forwards was rewarded when Ciara Griffin struggled over the whitewash before Stapleton kicked Ireland further ahead.

Sophie Spence then powered over to enlarge the deficit but Tom Tierney's side was kept on it's toes after Hilisha Samao responded in kind for the Australians.

Still Ireland managed to hold out, but will be looking for a lot of improvement in their next game against Japan on Sunday.

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