Ireland secured qualification to the 2005 Sevens World Cup Finals in Hong Kong in the final European Circuit in Mallorca on Saturday.
Ireland secured qualification to the 2005 Sevens World Cup Finals in Hong Kong in the final European Circuit in Madrid on Saturday.
Ireland began their campaign with a 26-12 win over Georgia in which Conor McPhillips, Martin McPhail, Ian Humphreys and Andrew Maxwell bagging tries.
In the Semi-Final, Ireland recovered too late from a bad start and lost out to Italy. The Italians carved out a 19-0 lead in the first half and despite an Andy Dunne-led revival, couldn’t grab an equalising try in going down 19-12.
This led to a play-off versus Scotland, won 14-7 by Ireland. James Downey and John McWeeney scored the crucial tries that saw Ireland finish in a deserved third place.
Ireland qualify for the finals in Hong Kong for the first time in three years.
The tournament was won by Portugal who defeated Italy 21-14 in the final.
After the disappointment of losing to France 14-0 on day one, the Irish turned the afterburners on and blitzed Georgia 26-12 in the quarter-finals, a game won more comfortably than the score suggests.
Naturally, Ireland coach Ryan Constable was pleased with his team’s performance: This was a very important win for us, as we secured the main objective of our campaign, to qualify for RWC 2005. This will enable the Irish Union to create a programme for the Ireland sevens team, to enable us to compete with the best in Hong Kong next year.
The total number of nations now qualified for the Hong Kong finals is 20 – out of the field of 24.
England have already qualified for the Sevens World Cup on the strength of their performance during the 2003/04 IRB World Sevens series.
Mallorca qualifiers for RWC Sevens 2005
Day two results
Italy 19-12 Russia
Georgia 12-26 Ireland
France 0-35 Scotland
Portugal 12-0 Spain
Other early results
Romania 17-12 Poland
Ukraine 17-7 Germany
Czech Republic 15-26 Moldova
Lithuania 41-0 Croatia
Italy 19-12 Ireland
Portugal 29-14 Scotland
Georgia 25-0 Russia
France 31-7 Spain
Portugal 21-14 Italy
Ireland 14-7 Scotland
Georgia 21-45 France
Russia 17-12 Spain
Romania 0-49 Lithuania
Ukraine 35-5 Moldova
Germany 19-47 Croatia