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Trophy Win Sees Ireland Qualify For European Grand Prix Series

Trophy Win Sees Ireland Qualify For European Grand Prix Series

The Ireland Men’s Sevens team were crowned Rugby Europe Trophy champions after beating all before them in Prague over the weekend.

Ireland added the Prague title to the cup they won in Malmo last month and in doing so, qualified to play in next season’s Rugby Europe Grand Prix Series alongside the continent’s top Sevens nations.

The young Irish side scored 42 tries and 264 points and conceded just one try during their six-match winning run in the Czech capital. Mick McGrath, who ran in three hat-tricks, topped the try-scoring charts with 11 tries.

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They opened day 2 with a seven-try 45-0 quarter-final dismissal of Cyprus. Precise restart work enabled them to control most of the possession in the first half, with excellent footwork from both Steve Toal-Lennon and Luke O’Dea resulting in early scores.

Ireland’s superior handling and quick recycling of the ball meant Cyprus were stretched throughout. Billy Dardis showed great accuracy with five conversions, and John O’Donnell again dominated the opposition at the breakdown.

They then got the better of a well-coached Romanian team – their toughest opponents of the weekend – with a 24-0 triumph sending them through to their second successive European Trophy final.

Josh Rowland showed great strength to score under pressure from three covering Romanian defenders, and he made it over in the same left corner soon after. Toal-Lennon’s arcing run had Ireland 17-0 to the good at half-time.

The second period was mostly defence-dominated, with Tom Daly and his team-mates unable to take advantage of a Romanian sin-binning. However, prolific winger McGrath had the final say late on, breaking clear on the left after a pinpoint floated pass from Toal-Lennon.

A strong first half laid the platform for Ireland’s 52-0 victory over Ukraine in the Cup final, the try-scoring starting with a very well-taken early effort from Lansdowne’s Ian Fitzpatrick.

McGrath was next over the whitewash, using his strength to force his way in under the posts. Dardis converted that try and also added the extras to another from captain Daly whose meaty hand-off saw him score out wide on the left.

The Ukrainians, who trailed 19-0 at half-time, quickly fell further behind on the resumption as slick hands from Daly released McGrath to go over in the right corner. The Clontarf man soon completed his hat-trick with a brilliant surge up the right touchline.

Three more tries followed in the closing stages as Ireland crossed the half-century mark for the third time this weekend. The hard-working Harry McNulty deservedly got on the scoresheet with a clever run-in from close range, good tidying up from Toal-Lennon, near the Irish line, set the wheels in motion for an Adam Byrne try from 80 metres out, and then Daly’s quick tap and injection of pace saw him close out the scoring.

Ireland’s two tournament wins in the Trophy Series – adding to silverware in Rugby Europe Divisions B and C last summer and their recent positive showing in the Olympic Repechage – gives them plenty of momentum to take into the 2016/17 season and their European Grand Prix Series debut.

IRELAND MEN’S SEVENS Squad (Rugby Europe Men’s Sevens Trophy Leg 2, RC Slavia Praha, Prague, Czech Republic, July 2-3):

Adam Byrne (UCD/Leinster)
Tom Daly (Lansdowne/Leinster) (capt)
Billy Dardis (UCD/Leinster)
Ian Fitzpatrick (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Dan Goggin (Young Munster/Munster)
Mick McGrath (Clontarf)
Harry McNulty (UCD)
Luke O’Dea (unaffiliated)
John O’Donnell (unaffiliated)
Josh Rowland (unaffiliated)
Steve Toal-Lennon (St. Mary’s College)
Alex Wootton (Garryowen/Munster)

Ireland Men’s Sevens – Prague Results:

Saturday, July 2 –

POOL A:

IRELAND 57 MONACO 0, RC Slavia Praha
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Dan Goggin, Alex Wootton 3, Mick McGrath 3, Steve Toal-Lennon, Tom Daly; Cons: Billy Dardis 3, Steve Toal-Lennon 2, Tom Daly

IRELAND: John O’Donnell, Harry McNulty, Luke O’Dea, Adam Byrne, Steve Toal-Lennon, Tom Daly (capt), Mick McGrath.

Subs: Dan Goggin, Ian Fitzpatrick, Josh Rowland, Billy Dardis, Alex Wootton.

IRELAND 53 CYPRUS 0, RC Slavia Praha
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Dan Goggin, Steve Toal-Lennon, Harry McNulty, Tom Daly 3, John O’Donnell, Alex Wootton 2; Cons: Billy Dardis 2, Steve Toal-Lennon 2

IRELAND: Dan Goggin, Harry McNulty, Ian Fitzpatrick, Josh Rowland, Billy Dardis, Tom Daly (capt), Alex Wootton.

Subs: John O’Donnell, Luke O’Dea, Adam Byrne, Steve Toal-Lennon, Mick McGrath.

IRELAND 33 ISRAEL 5, RC Slavia Praha
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Mick McGrath 3, John O’Donnell, Luke O’Dea; Cons: Tom Daly, Steve Toal-Lennon 3

IRELAND: Harry McNulty, Luke O’Dea, Adam Byrne, Ian Fitzpatrick, Steve Toal-Lennon, Tom Daly, Mick McGrath (capt).

Subs: John O’Donnell, Dan Goggin, Josh Rowland, Billy Dardis, Alex Wootton.

Day 1 Round-Up – Three Wins Out Of Three For Ireland Men

Sunday, July 3 –

CUP QUARTER-FINAL:

IRELAND 45 CYPRUS 0, RC Slavia Praha
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Adam Byrne, Alex Wootton 2, Mick McGrath, Steve Toal-Lennon, Luke O’Dea, John O’Donnell; Cons: Billy Dardis 5

IRELAND: Harry McNulty, Luke O’Dea, Adam Byrne, Ian Fitzpatrick, Billy Dardis, Tom Daly (capt), Mick McGrath.

Subs: John O’Donnell, Dan Goggin, Josh Rowland, Steve Toal-Lennon, Alex Wootton.

CUP SEMI-FINAL:

IRELAND 24 ROMANIA 0, RC Slavia Praha
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Josh Rowland 2, Mick McGrath, Steve Toal-Lennon; Cons: Steve Toal-Lennon 2

IRELAND: Dan Goggin, Harry McNulty, Ian Fitzpatrick, Josh Rowland, Steve Toal-Lennon, Tom Daly (capt), Alex Wootton.

Subs: John O’Donnell, Luke O’Dea, Adam Byrne, Billy Dardis, Mick McGrath.

CUP FINAL:

IRELAND 52 UKRAINE 0, RC Slavia Praha
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Mick McGrath 3, Adam Byrne, Tom Daly 2, Harry McNulty, Ian Fitzpatrick; Cons: Billy Dardis 4, Steve Toal-Lennon 2

IRELAND: John O’Donnell, Harry McNulty, Luke O’Dea, Ian Fitzpatrick, Billy Dardis, Tom Daly (capt), Mick McGrath.

Subs: Dan Goggin, Adam Byrne, Josh Rowland, Steve Toal-Lennon, Alex Wootton.