Women's World Cup: Doyle says beaten Irish will regroup for play-off

Lynne Cantwell
Lynne Cantwell shows her disappointment after Ireland semi-final hammering by England

Ireland coach Philip Doyle believes his players will regroup from the World Cup semi-final hammering by England to give a competitive display in Sunday's third-place game against France.

After taking an early lead, the Irish collapsed to a 40-7 defeat by England, who will face Canada in the decider.

"The girls are fantastic athletes and they'll get back to the drawing board," said Doyle.

"We will give a performance in that play-off game."

Sunday's game against the hosts will be Doyle's final match in charge of the Irish as he steps down from the position at the end of the tournament.

After his team's shock win over holders New Zealand last week, Doyle's team looked contenders to add the World Cup title to their Grand Slam triumph from last year.

Ireland's Fiona Coghlan (left) and Lynne Cantwell (right) tackle England's Maggie Alphonsi
England had just had too much power for the Irish in Wednesday's semi-final

But England ruthlessly ended Ireland's hopes with a five-try demolition as Doyle lamented a "complete lack of performance" from his side.

I think we could have applied ourselves an awful lot better in that game. I think we made England look good," added a rueful Doyle.

"Our fringe defence was way too passive. They were trying to attack down our nine channel," said a rueful Doyle.

"We identified that they were trying to come down our nine channel and then take us out wide.

"Our fringe just wasn't closing down that space quick enough and we were way too passive in our line speed.

"It's something that we're really going to have to look at because the French are massive ball carriers."

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