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Ireland Sevens Denied By Late Try

Ireland Sevens Denied By Late Try

A late try by Zimbabwe’s Jacques Leitao dashed Ireland’s hopes of success in today’s Bowl final at the 2009 Rugby World Cup Sevens in Dubai. The Irish had fought back valiantly to lead 14-12 before Leitao claimed the match-winning score.


IRELAND 14 ZIMBABWE 17, Pitch 1, Dubai Sevens Stadium

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Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Kyle Tonetti, Kieran Campbell; Cons: Tom Gleeson 2
Zimbabwe: Tries: Cleopas Makotose, Gerald Sibanda, Jacques Leitao; Con: Grant Mitchell

Kieran Campbell – Post-Match Reaction

Ireland have finished as runners-up in the third tier Bowl competition at the 2009 Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament in Dubai.

Jon Skurr’s side, having trailed 12-0 at half-time, mounted a spirited fightback against a speedy Zimbabwe selection.

They mustered second half tries through Kyle Tonetti and Kieran Campbell, with Tom Gleeson converting both touchdowns.

Gleeson’s second kick nudged the Irish into a 14-12 lead with less than three minutes remaining on the match clock.

However, Zimbabwe had a final flourish as Jacques Leitao speared through a gap, exposing some tired Irish defending, to score to the right of the posts and secure the silverware for the Africans.

Played in front of a lively crowd, the Bowl final was a tightly-contested affair and in the early stages, Brian Tuohy did well to push Gerald Sibanda out into touch as the Zimbabweans pressed near the right corner.

But the African outfit pinned the Irish back into their own half for most of the first half, with kicks from Paul Marshall and attempted breakouts from Felix Jones and Gary Brown amounting to little.

Ireland fell behind in the fourth minute when the powerfuly-built Cleopas Makotose fended off a tackle from Jones and cantered over ahead of the Irish cover.

Grant Mitchell converted for 7-0 and just a minute before half-time, the Zimbabweans were celebrating their second try.

Gerald Sibanda dinked a grubber kick through, from the left touchline, and got a favourable bounce as he dotted down to make it 12-0 for the break.

Ireland had little or no attacking ball in the first seven minutes but on the restart, they began to make inroads thanks to some strong running from Tuohy, James Coughlan and Brian Carney and some well-contested rucks.

Jones made some decent headway down the left, Coughlan used his bulk to power his way through the middle and into the 22.

Then, with the Zimbabweans scattered, Marshall and Tuohy combined to put Tonetti over for a deserved try.

Gleeson added the conversion and he also turned team captain Campbell’s try into a seven-pointer.

The fresh legs of Campbell scampered away and in under the posts after following up on a half-break from Gary Brown.

However, there was still plenty of time for Zimbabwe to hit back and they did just that as Leitao slipped through to put his name to the match-winning score.

IRELAND: Kyle Tonetti (Blackrock College – Leinster), James Coughlan (Dolphin – Munster), Paul Marshall (Belfast Harlequins – Ulster), Felix Jones (Old Belvedere – Leinster), Brian Tuohy (Cornish Pirates), Tom Gleeson (Cork Constitution – Munster), Gary Brown (Blackrock College – Leinster).

Replacements: Eoghan Grace (Shannon – Munster), Kieran Campbell (Galwegians – Connacht), Brian Carney (Clonakilty – Munster), Conan Doyle (Garryowen – Munster), Daniel Riordan (Buccaneers – Connacht).

ZIMBABWE: Fortune Chipendu, Grant Mitchell, Gerald Sibanda, Danny Hondo, Cleopas Makotose, Tangai Nemadire, Wensley Mbanje.

Replacements: Jacques Leitao, Ryan Manyika, Slater Ndlovu, Gardiner Nechironga, Willis Magasa.

Ireland Sevens Management –

Hugh McCaughey – Manager
Jon Skurr – Coach
Simon Harland – Physiotherapist
Fergal O’Callaghan – Fitness
Ashley Blair – Masseuse
Vinny Hammond – Video Analyst

Ireland Match Schedule Rugby World Cup Sevens –

Ireland 5 Samoa 35 – Match Report

Ireland 24 Australia 21 – Match Report

Ireland 5 Portugal 17 – Match Report

Ireland 24 Arabian Gulf 5 – Match Report

Ireland 22 Hong Kong 15 – Match Report

Match Day 3:
Saturday, March 7, 2009 FINAL DAY
10.30pm Men’s Quarter-Finals
5.08pm Men’s Semi-Finals
6.30pm Men’s Bowl Final
7.30pm Men’s Plate Final
8.35pm Men’s Cup Final
9.30pm Closing Ceremony

* All times are local/Ireland is four hours behind