Ireland's Paula Fitzpatrick who scored two tries tonight
IRELAND Women's Rugby World Cup dreams hang in the balance following an unconvincing win over Japan at UCD on Sunday evening.
A 24-14 win for Tom Tierney's side sees them secure two wins from two at the tournament, however with only one side guaranteed to go through from the Pool, Ireland must now beat France on Thursday to make sure of a semi final spot.
With only one second placed team going through, USA on 10 points and Canada on 9 points are ahead of Ireland should they lose to France and rely on that wild card semi final spot.
Ireland, who trailed 14-0 at the break, needed a try from Alison Miller (46) and two from Paula Fitzpatrick (64,82) to secure a vital four points in a game where they were expected to claim a bonus point win over Japan who are ranked 15th in the World.
Limerick's Nicole Cronin was the star of the show for Ireland. The UL Bohemian scrum half bossed the temp of the game throughout.
IRELAND : 15. Mairead Coyne (Galwegians RFC/Connacht), 14. Hannah Tyrrell (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster), 13. Katie Fitzhenry (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster), 12. Sene Naoupu (Harlequins FC), 11. Alison Miller (Old Belvedere RFC/Connacht), 10. Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster), 9. Nicole Cronin (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster)
1. Lindsay Peat (Railway Union RFC/Leinster), 2. Cliodhna Moloney (Railway Union RFC/Leinster), 3. Ciara O'Connor (Galwegians RFC/Connacht), 4. Ciara Cooney (Railway Union/Leinster), 5. Sophie Spence (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster), 6. Ciara Griffin (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster), 7. Ashleigh Baxter (Cooke RFC/Ulster), 8. Claire Molloy (Bristol RFC/Connacht) Captain
Replacements : 16. Leah Lyons (Highfield RFC/Munster), 17. Ruth O'Reilly (Galwegians RFC/Connacht), 18. Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere RFC/Leinster), 19. Paula Fitzpatrick (St. Mary's College RFC/Leinster), 20. Anna Caplice (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster), 21. Larissa Muldoon (Railway Union RFC/Ulster), 22. Jeamie Deacon (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster), 23. Louise Galvin (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster)