Select Page

The 2022 British & Irish Cup took place over the weekend of 3rd and 4th of September at West Park Leeds RUFC with Ireland ultimately emerging winners in the closest contest in the tournament’s history.

After the completion of the two day competition Great Britain and Ireland found themselves tied on categories won – Great Britain had won in Women’s Open (4-0), Men’s Open (3-2) and Women’s Seniors (1-0) with Ireland taking the honours in Men’s 30s (4-0), Mixed Open (4-1) and Mixed Seniors (3-2).

This tie meant the tournament was decided on games won within the six eligible categories. Ireland edged this by a total of 13-11 meaning that had a single Irish win gone the other way through the weekend then the cup would have ended up in British hands.

A Men’s 40s exhibition series was played alongside as part of the British & Irish Cup for the first time with both countries agreeing that it would not count toward the overall result in the two team’s inaugural year. The series itself swung one way and then the other with Ireland leading 2-1 after the first day before Great Britain won both games on day two to clinch the series at the death.

The two Mixed categories were led 2-0 by Ireland at the close of play on Saturday before the visiting sides secured the categories at the first time of asking on Sunday morning. The Mixed Seniors sides had been separated by just four points across their first three matches before GB comprehensively won the fourth test and edged the fifth by a point to end on a strong note. Great Britain had been getting progressively closer to their opponents in the Mixed Open before finally getting a deserved win in the fourth test. They nearly repeated the feat in the final one before being edged out by a single point.

The two Women’s categories saw Great Britain keep Ireland winless, building on their success at the International Tag Series when GB’s two sides had locked out the final. GB Women’s Open were the highest scoring side of the weekend (43 points scored and a +31 points difference) as well as the joint most successful team (alongside Ireland Men’s 30s) with four wins and no losses. The Women’s Seniors contest saw a remarkable four draws across the five tests including a 0-0 deadlock in game 1. The only win in the category was a comprehensive 9-1 victory for Great Britain in the fourth game on Sunday.

The remaining two Men’s categories contrasted with each other. Men’s 30s saw Ireland’s strongest performances of the weekend, winning the opening four tests before Great Britain forced a draw in the final match. Men’s Open, which has been dominated by Great Britain in recent years, seesawed throughout the weekend. Great Britain won the first and third tests with Ireland winning the second and fourth, their first wins in the category since 2017. It all came down to a thrilling decider in the fifth test and the final match to be livestreamed in which Great Britain confidently controlled a low scoring encounter throughout to secure the series.

A number of milestones were marked at the 2022 British & Irish Cup. Not only was the contest the closest in the tournament’s history but it was also the first to be decided over two days with five tests played within each category and the first international tag tournament to take place in Yorkshire. Great Britain Tag Rugby’s new Associate Partners, Oaklin also joined the event, being seen on GB’s kit as well as taking part in an interview on the livestream.

The tournament stream was seen across the RFL’s OurLeague App and Try Tag Rugby’s YouTube channel and Facebook page. All the action from the main pitch is available online for replays. Footage from the additional pitches will be made available shortly.

Category Results and Players of the Tournament

Women’s Open
Game 1: Great Britain 8 – 4 Ireland
Game 2: Great Britain 14 – 1 Ireland
Game 3: Great Britain 10 – 2 Ireland
Game 4: Great Britain 4 – 4 Ireland
Game 5: Great Britain 7 – 3 Ireland

Series Result: Great Britain 4 – 0 Ireland
Player of the Tournament: Emily Rona-Roper (Great Britain)

Women’s Seniors
Game 1: Great Britain 0 – 0 Ireland
Game 2: Great Britain 3 – 3 Ireland
Game 3: Great Britain 3 – 3 Ireland
Game 4: Great Britain 9 – 1 Ireland
Game 5: Great Britain 1 – 1 Ireland

Series Result: Great Britain 1 – 0 Ireland
Player of the Tournament: Claire Cunningham (Ireland)

Mixed Open
Game 1: Great Britain 6 – 12 Ireland
Game 2: Great Britain 3 – 5 Ireland
Game 3: Great Britain 5 – 8 Ireland
Game 4: Great Britain 7 – 5 Ireland
Game 5: Great Britain 9 – 10 Ireland

Series Result: Great Britain 1 – 4 Ireland
Female Player of the Tournament: Rachel Healy (Ireland)
Male Player of the Tournament: Tom Duggan (Ireland)

Mixed Seniors
Game 1: Great Britain 6 – 8 Ireland
Game 2: Great Britain 7 – 8 Ireland
Game 3: Great Britain 4 – 5 Ireland
Game 4: Great Britain 11 – 3 Ireland
Game 5: Great Britain 6 – 5 Ireland

Series Result: Great Britain 2 – 3 Ireland
Female Player of the Tournament: Amanda Scarfo (Great Britain)
Male Player of the Tournament: Darragh Conway (Ireland)

Men’s Open
Game 1: Great Britain 5 – 2 Ireland
Game 2: Great Britain 4 – 8 Ireland
Game 3: Great Britain 13 – 3 Ireland
Game 4: Great Britain 3 – 4 Ireland
Game 5: Great Britain 3 – 1 Ireland

Series Result: Great Britain 3 – 2 Ireland
Player of the Tournament: Ollie Greenhill (Great Britain)

Men’s 30s
Game 1: Great Britain 4 – 6 Ireland
Game 2: Great Britain 4 – 9 Ireland
Game 3: Great Britain 3 – 4 Ireland
Game 4: Great Britain 4 – 7 Ireland
Game 5: Great Britain 5 – 5 Ireland

Series Result: Great Britain 0 – 4 Ireland
Player of the Tournament: Matt Kennerson (Ireland)

Men’s 40s
Game 1: Great Britain 3 – 5 Ireland
Game 2: Great Britain 5 – 3 Ireland
Game 3: Great Britain 3 – 6 Ireland
Game 4: Great Britain 4 – 3 Ireland
Game 5: Great Britain 5 – 3 Ireland

Series Result: Great Britain 3 – 2 Ireland
Player of the Tournament: Alan Conboy (Ireland)

Ireland now leads the British & Irish Cup 7-1 all-time

British Referee of the Tournament: Alex Davies
Irish Referee of the Tournament: Simon Edgecombe