Ireland got the better of tournament hosts Arabian Gulf to secure their path through to the Bowl semi-finals at the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Dubai. Tries from Felix Jones, Kyle Tonetti (2) and Gary Brown helped the Irish on their way.
2009 RUGBY WORLD CUP SEVENS: BOWL QUARTER-FINAL: Saturday, March 7
IRELAND 24 ARABIAN GULF 5, Pitch 1, Dubai Sevens Stadium
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Felix Jones, Kyle Tonetti 2, Gary Brown; Cons: Tom Gleeson 2
Arabian Gulf: Try: Marcus Smith
Ireland will face Hong Kong, the 14-7 conquerors of Italy, at the semi-final stage of the Bowl competition later today after ending the hopes of the Arabian Gulf.
Jon Skurr’s men had to be patient as they tried to break down the tournament hosts and it was not until the last-minute of the first half that Felix Jones scampered through for the opening try, following up on some passing.
Both sides played some very good Sevens, throwing the ball around as they looked to begin the third day of the tournament in style.
Tom Gleeson converted Jones’ effort to give the Irish a 7-0 half-time lead. The Gulf’s best chance of a first half score came when Taif Al Delamie was held up just short of the try-line.
Just 41 seconds into the second half, Kyle Tonetti strengthened Ireland’s grip on the game with the first of his two tries.
Gleeson again converted but Marcus Smith notched an unconverted try in reply for the home side, making it 14-5.
Gary Brown then made the game safe for Ireland when he jetted along the touchline to score an excellent try and in the last minute Tonetti completed his brace, with both conversions missed.
Speaking straight after the game, Ireland captain Kieran Campbell said: “It was a physical and hard enough contest there, particularly in the first half, and a lot of our lads are very tired from yesterday, hence why a lot of the old lads are getting a run out today!
“The boys found that tough in the first half. We were pushed and we just needed to keep a better shape in the second half and we got some good scores. But all credit to the Arabian Gulf boys – they pushed us hard.”
Campbell and company will be back in action at 3.18pm Dubai time (11.18am Irish time) for their Bowl semi-final clash with Hong Kong.
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).
ARABIAN GULF: Steve Cooper, Chris Gregory, Joshua Sherrin, Sean Hurley, Jonny MacDonald, Marcus Smith, Taif Al Delamie.
Replacements: Cory Oliver, Stuart Gibb, Daniel Patching, David Clark, Francois Coetzer.
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 –
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