Published Wednesday, 13 August 2014
Emma Croker of England is tackled by Jenny Murphy. (© Getty)
An early try from wing Alison Miller, converted by full-back Niamh Briggs, had given them the lead but England hit back with 18 points in 13 first-half minutes to take control of the tie.
There was no way back for the Irish as touchdowns from Rochelle Clark, Kat Merchant, Kay Wilson and a Marlie Packer double, as well as a penalty hat-trick from Emily Scarratt, helped England on their way to a 40-7 win at Stade Jean Bouin, to set up a final against France or Canada.
Ireland, whose run to the semi-final included a stunning win over New Zealand, will now go into this weekend's bronze medal match, where they will face the tournament's other beaten semi-finalists.
"It is what it is," Ireland coach Phillip Doyle said on the International Rugby Board women's World Cup official Twitter feed after the match.
"They deserved the win. All credit to England, I genuinely hope that they go on to win it.
We just unfortunately didn't perform. The first 15 minutes we were in the game and then we turned off the taps, but we get huge encouragement from our tournament overall."
Sports Minister Carál Ní Chuilín has congratulated the team for their efforts.
"The team has excelled at this World Cup and has progressed further on the world stage than any Irish rugby team has previously done," she said.
"Their magnificent victory over the defending champions New Zealand was a truly pivotal moment in Irish sport and victories over the USA and Kazakhstan helped them secure a semi-final spot.
"Each of the players, which included Ulster's Ashleigh Baxter and Grace Davitt, management and members of the backroom team can take great pride from what was a real team effort.
"I trust that the achievements of the girls' will encourage more people to take up women's rugby in the north and across the island."
© UTV News