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RWC Sevens: Losing Run Continues In Hong Kong

RWC Sevens: Losing Run Continues In Hong Kong

A 31-19 loss to the USA capped a disappointing opening day for Ryan Constable’s Ireland side at the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Hong Kong today.

A 31-19 loss to the USA capped a disappointing opening day for Ryan Constable’s Ireland side at the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Hong Kong today.

RUGBY WORLD CUP SEVENS: Friday, March 18 – Sunday, March 20

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Hong Kong Stadium, Happy Valley, Hong Kong

Ireland 14 Scotland 33

Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Ian Humphreys, James Norton; Cons: Humphreys 2

Scotland: Tries: Roland Reid 2, Andrew Turnbull, Clark Laidlaw, Calum MacRae; Cons: Laidlaw 4

Having conceded a second minute try to Roland Reid, Constable’s charges were always up against it in the Happy Valley heat.

The men in green – who started with new cap Brian Tuohy of Shannon in their line-up – fired back on the restart as skipper Ian Humphreys took a loose ball and ran all of 30 metres to touch down to the right of the posts.

Humphreys converted but a second try for Reid and another from Andrew Turnbull left Ireland 19-7 in arrears at the break.

Scotland substitute Oli Brown’s second half sin-binning allowed Leinster wing James Norton the space to skip in for a second Irish try – converted by Humphreys. But a fifth Scottish score for sub Calum MacRae erased that good work in the final minute.

New Zealand 52 Ireland 5

Scorers: New Zealand: Tries: Josh Blackie 4, Orene Ai’i, Rudi Wulf, Edwin Cocker, Isaia Toeava; Cons: Ai’i 6

Ireland: Try: Andy Maxwell

Ireland proved no match for a dominant All-Blacks side – captained by 20-year-old Liam Messam – as the 2001 champions ran in eight tries, adding to their earlier 47-0 pool thrashing of Korea.

Highlanders flanker Josh Blackie – one of two Super 12 players in Gordon Tietjens’ NZ squad – crossed for a first-half try hat trick as the gallant Irish trailed 31-0 at the interval.

Ulster winger Andy Maxwell did hit back on the restart, weaving his way through for a well-taken score out wide but that was the highpoint as Blackie, Edwin Cocker and Isaia Toeava touched down to complete the rout.

Ireland 19 USA 31

Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Andy Maxwell, David Hewitt, Ian Humphreys; Cons: Humphreys 2

USA: Tries: Mike Palefau 2, David Fee 2, Jason Raven; Cons: Fee 3

First-half tries from Maxwell again and Clontarf flyer David Hewitt promised much for the Irish – as did Ian Humphreys’ second try of the tournament two minutes into the second half.

That handed Ireland a 19-12 buffer but a late succession of touch downs from Mike Palefau and David Fee – who both scored in the opening seven minutes – and Jason Raven completed a 14-point win for the Eagles.

Ireland sit bottom of Pool A on three points currently, but wins over Korea and/or Tonga tomorrow could propel them from a likely place in Sunday’s Bowl quarter finals into the higher-ranked Plate knock-outs.

Pool A: New Zealand, Scotland, Tonga, Ireland, Korea, USA

Pool B: England, Samoa, France, Italy, Georgia, Chinese Taipei

Pool C: Fiji, Australia, Canada, Portugal, Japan, Hong Kong

Pool D: Argentina, South Africa, Kenya, Tunisia, Russia, Uruguay

Friday: Pool matches: (all times Irish (Hong Kong GMT +8 hours))

02.49am: Pool A – Ireland 14 Scotland 33

08.41am: Pool A – New Zealand 52 Ireland 5

11.52am: Pool A – Ireland 19 USA 31

Saturday: Pool matches:

03.26am: Pool A – Ireland v Korea

09.47am: Pool A – Tonga v Ireland

Sunday: Knock-out stages:

02.30am – 11.00am: Bowl, Plate, Melrose Cup quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals


(1) Mark Bruce (Loughborough University)

(2) Kevin Croke (UCD) *

(3) David Hewitt (Clontarf)

(4) Tomas O’Leary (Dolphin)

(5) Ian Humphreys (Belfast Harlequins) (Capt)

(6) Andy Maxwell (Ballymena)

(7) Michael McComish (Ballymena)

(8) Martin McPhail (UL Bohemians)

(9) James Norton (UCD)

(10) Brendan O’Connor (Cork Constitution) *

(11) Niall Ronan (Lansdowne)

(12) Brian Tuohy (Shannon) *


Ryan Constable (Coach)

George Spotswood (Manager)

Ailbe McCormack (Physio)

* denotes new cap

** Photo courtesy of rwcsevens.com