International 7s Men: Ireland Men win Invitational Series

Published Categorised as 2020-21, International 7s Men, International Rugby 7s, Ireland Men 7s, Team GB Men 7s, USA Men 7s Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Ulster's Jude Postlethwaite had an impressive weekend for Ireland in the International Rugby 7s in Burton upon Trent

Ireland Men 7s topped the table at the end of the three day Red Bull International Rugby 7s tournament organised by the RFU and hosted at the national football centre, St. George’s Park, Burton upon Trent, between 15-17 May.

The tournament featured three teams, Team GB, USA and Ireland with Team GB and USA looking to get some game time in ahead of the Olympic 7s in Tokyo on 26-28 July 2021. Ireland are still looking to qualify for the Olympics and they were preparing for the Olympic repechage that takes place in Monaco on 19-20 June 2021. The teams played each other three times over the three days.

Despite the championship falling into Ireland’s hands on the final day the tournament really was just a chance to get some competitive rugby under the hood for the players and it served it’s purpose with a reasonable mix of competition and experimentation.

Results

Saturday 15th May 2021
Ireland 1210USA
Ireland 712Team GB
Team GB3312USA
International Rugby 7s Men Day 1 Results
Sunday 16th May 2021
Ireland 3114USA
Team GB1410Ireland
Team GB2414USA
International Rugby 7s Men Day 2 Results
MONday 17th May 2021
Ireland 330USA
Team GB1214Ireland
Team GB1436USA
International Rugby 7s Men Day 3 Results

Standings

TeamPWPDPTS
Ireland644514
Team GB641614
USA Sevens61(61)8
International Rugby 7s Men Final Standings

Who did what?

Appearances

Head coach Anthony Eddy took an extended squad of 16 players to the tournament to have a look at as he searches for his strongest side for the Olympic Repechage. There were three current Ulster players in the squad, Ben Moxham, Jude Postlethwaite and Aaron Sexton with ex player Rory Scholes also making the trip.

The players used over the tournament are shown below and we have ranked them by their appearances over the three days – 2 points for a starting appearance (S) and one point for a replacement appearance (R)

PLAYERCLUBM1M2M3M4M5M6RANK
Cribbin, SeanSuttoniansSSSSSS12
Conroy, JordanBuccaneersSSSSRS11
Mullin, GavinUCDSSSSSR11
Kennedy, TerrySt Marys CollegeSSSSS10
Fitzpatrick, IanLansdowneSSSRS9
O’Sullivan, AaronBlackrockSSSSR9
Dardis, BillyTerenureSSRRRR8
Postlethwaite, JudeBanbridgeRRSRS7
Sexton, AaronMaloneRRRSS7
Kendellen, AlexUCCRSRS6
Scholes, RoryIreland 7sRRRSR6
Crowley, JackCork ConRRS4
Lennox, HugoSkerriesRSR4
Phillips, ConorYoung MunsterRRS4
Krummeck, DuranIreland 7sRRR3
Moxham, BenBallymenaRS3
International Rugby 7s Ireland Men Appearances

Of the Ulster players, Postlethwaite and Sexton both appeared in 5 of the games, each starting in 2 and coming on as replacements in 3 games. Despite Sexton scoring twice it was Postlethwaite who performed the best, in my opinion, playing up front as a prop and putting in a big effort throughout.

In fairness I also thought that the combination of Postlethwaite and Moxham, as props in Match 4 against Team GB, looked pretty good with Moxham catching the eye in that one. I was somewhat surprised this combination didn’t get another run out in the final day.

Points Scored

Ireland scored 107 points over the six games, the points coming from 17 tries and 11 conversions giving a conversion rate of 65%. The Ireland scorers are shown below.

PLAYERCLUBM1M2M3M4M5M6TOT
Conroy, JordanBuccaneersTTTT20
Kennedy, TerrySt MarysTT2T20
Dardis, BillyTerenureCCC1T, 2C15
Crowley, JackCork Con2C1T, 2C13
Mullin, GavinUCDTT10
Sexton, AaronMaloneTT10
Cribbin, SeanSuttoniansT2C9
Krummeck, DuranIreland 7sT5
Scholes, RoryIreland 7sT5
TOTAL71231103314107
International Rugby 7s Ireland Men Scorers. Note – not all conversions were shown but we’ve made our best stab at who was kicking.

The “aul hans” of Jordan Conroy, Terry Kennedy and Billy Dardis topped the scoring charts though Dardis was used comparatively sparingly. Jack Crowley came in as back up kicker though it was difficult to tell as some of the conversions weren’t shown. However, the most important kicks were perhaps Sean Cribbin’s in the final match which claimed their only win against Team GB to secure the title.

With the Olympic repechage a month away it’s still a guessing game to what the final squad will look like. Seven World Series regulars from 2019 – 20, John O’Donnell, Harry McNulty, Foster Horan, Jack Kelly, Mark Roche, Adam Leavy and Greg O’Shea, weren’t included in this important hit out and it’s not clear if they are still in the programme.

Of the Ulster players, Sexton showed his worth as an impact player and Postlethwaite probably put in the most consistent performances across the weekend. Moxham impressed, despite limited time, and hopefully the youngster will get another chance to show his worth.

Olympic Repechage.

There are ten teams in contention for the final Olympic qualification place have been drawn into two pools of five teams. Teams will play against all four opponents in their pools with the top two teams from each pool progressing through two knockout stages, culminating in a winner being decided in the final.

The matches take place in takes place in Monaco on 19-20 June 2021. France are the top seeds and they should top Pool B with some comfort. Ireland face tougher opposition in Pool A with Samoa and Tonga likely to be physical encounters.

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