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Ireland Men completed their third tournament in their first season in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Hamilton.

Ireland were in Pool C alongside Canada, Spain and France and they recorded one win, against Spain, in the pool stages to qualify for the 11th place play off where they lost out to Scotland.

With 16 teams in the men’s tournament, as opposed to 12 in the women’s, a 12th place finish is probably around the level of expectation for their first full season.

Ulster Women’s speedster Holly Brannigan had a look at the matches and you can view her summaries below.

POOL C CANADA 26 IRELAND 21

Despite tries from Terry Kennedy, Foster Horan and Jordan Conroy, all converted by Billy Dardis, Canada came out on top in a tough battle between the two teams.

A tough loss for the Irish in a high tempo, physical game on the opening day.

POOL C IRELAND 28 SPAIN 17

Ireland managed to bounce back to winning form later in the day as a strong second-half display saw them overcome Spain 28-17.

Quick feet from Jack Kelly gave Foster Horan a score with Dardis converting.
Spain hit back with an excellent piece of skill for Lopez to cross the line which was quickly followed by another after finding a hole in the Irish defense.

A loop play from Kennedy and Dardis found speedster Conroy on the edge to take a 14 – 12 lead into half time.

Hugo Lennox burst through Spanish defense offloading to Kennedy to touch down adding another 7 early in the second half and lateral play found  McNulty out wide to fight his way between the sticks for another seven pointer with Dardis converting.

Spain finish strongly with Lopez adding 5 in the last play of the game.

POOL C FRANCE 17 IRELAND 7

France came out on top 17-7 winners.

Veredamu began the scoring in the 3rd minute with the French adding the addition 2 from Riva.

Play continued with Ireland capitalizing on their possession for Conroy to make his way to the line with Dardis converting to leave the scores level after 7 mins played.

Play continued for another 2 mins with Parez sneaking past the Irish defense to go ahead 12 – 7 at half time.

The second half was fairly even but Ireland were unable to cross the line once more and France grabbed a late score from Veredamu to wrap up the game.

11th PLACE IRELAND 19 SCOTLAND 24

With Ireland ranked 10th and Scotland 13th, after the pool stages,  this was set to be a tight contest.

Ireland were on the attack first and Terry Kennedy found a gap in the middle to open the scores with Dardis adding the extras.

Conroy sees yellow as he is penalized for an intentional knock down allowing the Scottish to use their extra man to their advantage and score outside through Fife.

Scotland’s McFarland and Ireland’s Kennedy swap tries before the break to take it to 12 – all at half time.

The roles are reversed in the 2nd half as Lowe sees yellow allowing Conroy to spin off two and score under the posts.

Lowe returns to the pitch fighting and levels the scores at 19 all before a perfectly weighted cross field kick allows the Scots to clinch the victory with Alec Coombes crossing in the corner in the closing minute.

Who did what?

The 12 place finish kept Ireland out of the bottom four of the competition so it ticks some of their boxes though they probably would have been hoping to end up nearer the 6th place finish they recorded in Cape Town, but it is small margins.

They will be disappointed to lose to Scotland who they beat in the opening tournament in Dubai, but they have been two close games with a single score deciding the winner.

France and Ireland are both going through to the 2020 Men’s Rugby Sevens Final Olympic Qualification Tournament in June so, as the season progresses, Ireland will be looking to get nearer to the French who ominously finished second in this tournament.

Ireland’s record over the first three tournaments this season are shown below.

WINS POINTS
W L D % PF PA PD
4 7 1 38% 250 291 -41

In Hamilton, Ireland scored 75 points, the scorers as follows. 

  • Jordan Conroy 20 PTS (4T)
  • Billy Dardis 20 PTS (10C)
  • Terry Kennedy 20 PTS (4T)
  • Foster Horan 10 PTS (2T)
  • Harry McNulty 5 PTS (1T)

Plugging this into the stats from the other two tournaments the we get.

IRELAND MEN WORLD SERIES STATS 2020
Player Club Games Tries
Points
Jordan Conroy Buccaneers 12 15 75
Billy Dardis Terenure College 12 2 66
Terry Kennedy St Mary’s College 12 9 45
Aaron O’Sullivan Blackrock 8 3 15
Hugo Lennox Skerries 12 2 10
John O’Donnell Lansdowne 11 2 10
Harry McNulty UCD 9 2 10
Foster Horan Lansdowne 5 2 10
Jack Kelly Dublin University 12 1 5
Mark Roche Lansdowne 11 0 4
Adam Leavy Lansdowne 12 0 0
Greg O’Shea Shannon 12 0 0
Liam Turner Dublin University 2 0 0
Peter Maher Old Belvedere 2 0 0
Brian Mollen Blackrock 1 0 0

Onwards to Sydney

The same extended squad of 14 players will be competing in Sydney this weekend, though at the time of writing the match day squad of 12 has yet to be announced.

Extended Squad: Aaron O’Sullivan, Adam Leavy, Billy Dardis(C), Bryan Mollen, Foster Horan, Greg O’Shea, Harry McNulty, Hugo Lennox, Jack Kelly, John O’Donnell, Jordan Conroy, Liam Turner, Mark Roche, Terry Kennedy.

Ireland have been drawn in Pool D where they will face Canada and Spain once again with England the fourth side. Pool schedule below.

Ireland v Canada, Saturday 1st February 2.25am UK/IRE
Ireland v England, Saturday 1st February 8.35am UK/IRE
Ireland v Spain, Sunday 2nd February 1.35am UK/IRE

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