Ireland maintained their 100 per cent start to WXV 3 2023 as they ran in 10 tries at The Sevens Stadium to beat Colombia 64-3 and set up a winner-takes-all encounter with Spain next Saturday.
The result lifts Scott Bemand's side back to the top of the standings ahead of the final round in Dubai, one point clear of Las Leonas who were 26-19 victors against Fiji on Friday.
Ireland began the game as they meant to go on with their expansive style of rugby cutting Colombia open inside five minutes with Neve Jones crossing in the corner and Dannah O’Brien slotting the tricky conversion.
The European side continued to build their momentum in the game and were over for their second on the 10-minute mark when an attacking scrum provided the platform for O’Brien to link with her backs and send Natasja Behan in to score.
And the Irish soon had a third try when Grace Moore spotted a huge gap in the Colombian goal line defence to dot down with ease.
Three became four soon after when a delightful cross-field kick from O’Brien found the hands of Béibhinn Parsons, who sent Meabh Deely in to score.
With the Irish dominating possession, tries started to become inevitable and the fifth arrived through Brittany Hogan in the 25th minute, the number eight breaking the Colombian defensive line.
Following that score, Colombia’s defence managed to withstand the Irish pressure for more than 10 minutes until their try-line was breached for a sixth time with co-captain Edel McMahon crossing. O’Brien added her fourth conversion to make the score 38-0 at half-time.
The Irish added their seventh try just two minutes into the second half as Parsons touched down her fifth try of WXV 3 so far.
Much of Ireland’s attacking success came from their expansive back play, but their eighth score went back to basics as hooker Jones added her second score from a driving maul.
Colombia grew more into the game as the match approached its final quarter and were denied a try when held-up over the line but Maria I. Arzuaga knocked over a deserved penalty.
The set-back of losing their clean sheet pushed Ireland towards the Colombian line and they were rewarded with try number nine when Parsons found her way over once again.
Ireland crossed the 60-point mark when Leah Tarpey found the line for her side's 10th of the day. The European side continued to push for more, but Colombia’s defence had grown stronger throughout the game and prevented the Irish from making the scoreline any bigger.