The Irish Exiles DHL Sevens had a mixed weekend at the Marbella Sevens. On the Saturday they recovered from an early defeat by the Smurfs, a very physical side made up of Welsh players some of whom were Sevens internationals, to go through the rest of the day unbeaten.
The highlight of the Saturday was a win over the Adidas Marauders, who won at Kinsale by beating the Ireland Presidents side. The Marauders are one of the most successful Sevens sides on the European circuit fielding all full-time professional players.
The victory, however, came at a cost as Peter Phelan, the former Ireland Under-19 international, was seriously injured.
Swift action by the Marauders captain and Exiles physio Neil Boyd saved the day. Peter, after spending 24 hours in hospital, has now recovered.
On the Sunday the Exiles, hit by the loss of Phelan, the hot sun, and some ‘Spanish tummy’, were not at their best.
After progressing to the quarter-finals, they lost a 10-point lead and were beaten 26-24 by Apache in the last few minutes.
Overall, the Exiles were very pleased to have participated in an excellent tournament, played in wonderful weather and on a pitch like a bowling green.
Of the Exiles players, Jon Hill, Gareth McComb and Kevin Croke gave everything and made major individual contributions.
IRISH EXILES DHL SEVENS SQUAD: Jonathan Hill, Kevin Croke, Matt Williams, Max McDonald, Matt O’Regan, Gareth McComb, Brendan Burke, John Paul Filler, Peter Phelan, Harry Rowland, Sean Flannery.
Manager: Ces Shaw
Coach: Kevan Bell
Physio: Neil Boyd