The DHL Exiles Sevens team impressed at last weekend’s Kinsale Sevens tournament, reaching the semi-final stage and only losing two games throughout the weekend.
The DHL Exiles Sevens squad were pleased with their performance at Kinsale, which saw them reach the semi-finals of the main competition.
Their coach Kevan Bell said: “Given the standard of competition in one of the major Sevens tournaments in Europe, I was very satisfied that we reached the semi-finals.”
Only two sides beat the Exiles as they played their way through the competition, the Marauders (eventual winners) and the Irish Presidents Sevens (finalists).
The Marauders featured the captain of the Army Sevens, two Fijian Internationals and an England Sevens speedster. Unfortunately the semi-final against the Marauders came 15 minutes after the Exiles had won their quarter final against the much fancied ‘Stone Pups’.
In the first game of their group, the Exiles took the Ireland Presidents Sevens right to the wire. The Ireland Presidents outfit, coached by last season’s DHL Exiles Sevens coach Jon Skurr and featuring Exiles players Richard Briggs and Kieran Campbell, scored two tries against the Exiles in the last minute of the game.
Until then the Exiles had played some good rugby, scored two tries and were keeping the Irish side stretched. But as tiredness set in during the latter part of the game, the Exiles made mistakes to let in those last-minute tries.
Unfortunately the Exiles lost Mark Bruce, the former Ireland Sevens scrum half, early in the tournament with a hamstring tear.
However, former Ireland Under-19 scrum half Peter Phelan stepped up to the mark and had a good competition. Others who stood out were former Ireland Under-21 international Paul Devlin and National One player Gareth McComb.
DHL Exiles Sevens Squad: Gareth McComb (Pertemp Bees), Jon Hill (Pontypool), John Paul Filler (unattached), Mark Bruce (Buccaneers), Alex Hayman (Buccaneers), Brendan Burke (Bedford), Paul Devlin (Cornish Pirates), Tchad Collins Francois (unattached), Matt O’Regan (Manchester), Matt Williams (Stourbridge), Peter Phelan (Dolphin).
Manager: Ces Shaw; Coach: Kevan Bell; Physio: Neil Boyd.