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Ireland Men Enjoy Unbeaten Day In Dubai Sevens Invitational

Ireland Men Enjoy Unbeaten Day In Dubai Sevens Invitational

Buccaneers flyer Jordan Conroy led the scoring with four tries as the Ireland Men’s Sevens squad gained three pool wins on the opening day of the Dubai Sevens International Invitational tournament.

Coached by Stan McDowell and managed by James Topping, Ireland topped Pool B with three victories on the trot over the Germany Development team (19-5), Zambia (33-5) and Georgia (21-14). They will play Hundested Spurs in the Cup quarter-finals tomorrow at 1pm local time/9am Irish time.

With a number of last season’s players now lining out in the GUINNESS PRO12, this opening tournament of the season for the Irish set-up afforded Anthony Eddy, the IRFU Director of Sevens Rugby, and the coaching staff an opportunity to try out some newcomers to the game.

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Among them are a clutch of regular try scorers in the Ulster Bank League this season, including experienced former Leinster and Connacht winger Fionn Carr, who has impressed in the colours of Naas, and versatile Cork Constitution back Shane Daly who was part of the Ireland Under-20 team that reached last summer’s World Rugby U-20 Championship final.

Germany Development, a large and physical outfit, used turnover ball to find an overlap and open a 5-0 lead against the new-look Ireland team who had to quickly adapt to the pace of the game and the very humid conditions.

Terry Kennedy went close to scoring just before half-time but a cover tackle denied him. It was Ireland’s turn to make Germany work hard on the resumption, and a great read by Lansdowne’s John O’Donnell saw him intercept a pass on halfway and race clear for Conor Lowndes to convert.

As the Irish attack began to click more, Shannon clubman Luke O’Dea whizzed through a gap and showed good strength to carry the final defender over the line, touching down to the left of the posts.

Jordan Conroy’s searing pace saw him run in the clinching third try, raiding in from the right touchline with Steve Toal-Lennon from St. Mary’s adding the extras for a 14-point winning margin.

Conroy has been terrorising defences in Division 1B of the Ulster Bank League this season, scoring eight tries so far for table toppers Buccaneers. In Ireland’s second round match against Zambia, the Tullamore youngster helped himself to a hat-trick.

Galwegians clubman Lowndes and Ulster Academy member and former Ireland U-20 international David Busby scored Ireland’s other tries in what was a comfortable 33-5 victory.

In their final pool game, the men in green built a 14-0 interval lead against Georgia. Lowndes made the initial break before Jimmy O’Brien’s quick tap had the opposition defence under further pressure and his UCD team-mate Harry McNulty took a great line on the 22 to beat two defenders on the way to the posts.

O’Brien was also involved in the build-up to Ireland’s second converted effort, his superb break leading to a penalty for a high tackle. When the ball was shipped wide, O’Donnell stepped inside the final defender to score with Lowndes converting.

Busby sprung forward as the second half got underway, making it up to the Georgian 22. Quick recycling saw possession switched back to the left where McNulty’s offload put Lowndes over for try number three.

Now leading 21-0, Ireland allowed their discipline to slip during the rest of the second half – something they can ill-afford to do in tomorrow’s knockout stages. Invited forward with some penalties, the Georgians narrowed the gap with a try and then added a second one right on full-time.

Dubai Sevens – Men’s International Invitational Results/Fixtures

IRELAND MEN’S SEVENS Squad (DUBAI 7s INTERNATIONAL INVITATIONAL TOURNAMENT, The Sevens Stadium, Dubai, Friday, December 2-Saturday, December 3):

David Busby (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
Fionn Carr (Naas)
Jordan Conroy (Buccaneers)
Shane Daly (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Terry Kennedy (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
Conor Lowndes (Galwegians/Connacht)
Harry McNulty (UCD)
Jimmy O’Brien (UCD/Leinster)
Luke O’Dea (Shannon)
John O’Donnell (Lansdowne)
Nick Timoney (Queen’s University/Ulster)
Steve Toal-Lennon (St. Mary’s College)

Ireland Men’s Sevens Management

Anthony Eddy – IRFU Director of Sevens
Stan McDowell – Head Coach
James Topping – Team Manager
Marian Earls – S&C Coach
Barry Smith – Physiotherapist
Vinny Hammond – Performance Analyst
Sam O’Byrne – Media & Communications


Friday, December 2 –

Pool B Results:

Ireland 19 Germany Development 5
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: John O’Donnell, Luke O’Dea, Jordan Conroy; Cons: Conor Lowndes, Steve Toal-Lennon

Team: Harry McNulty, Luke O’Dea, Jimmy O’Brien, Terry Kennedy, John O’Donnell, Nick Timoney, Conor Lowndes.

Subs used: Steve Toal-Lennon, David Busby, Shane Daly, Jordan Conroy.

Ireland 33 Zambia 7s 5
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Jordan Conroy 3, Conor Lowndes, David Busby; Cons: Steve Toal-Lennon 3, Conor Lowndes

Team: Harry McNulty, Fionn Carr, Nick Timoney, Conor Lowndes, Jordan Conroy, Steve Toal-Lennon, David Busby.

Subs used: Terry Kennedy, Shane Daly, John O’Donnell, Jimmy O’Brien.

Ireland 21 Georgia 7s 14
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: John O’Donnell, Harry McNulty, Conor Lowndes; Cons: Conor Lowndes 3

Team: Harry McNulty, Luke O’Dea, Jimmy O’Brien, John O’Donnell, Shane Daly, Conor Lowndes, Jordan Conroy.

Subs used: David Busby, Terry Kennedy, Nick Timoney, Fionn Carr.

Saturday, December 3 –

Cup Quarter-Final: Ireland v Hundested Spurs, 1pm local time/9am Irish time