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Ireland Men Warm Up For European Series With Amsterdam 7s Success

Ireland Men Warm Up For European Series With Amsterdam 7s Success

The Ireland Men’s Sevens squad won the Canon Cup at the Amsterdam 7s as the countdown continues to their much-anticipated Rugby Europe Sevens Grand Prix Series debut in Moscow next weekend.

The Dutch tournament provided a good test for a youthful Ireland side that won six of their seven matches, winning the Canon Cup in the process which is the equivalent of a Plate title. The well-established Susies Exiles won the main Silver Pier final against Italy – 19-5.

Marshalled by coach Stan McDowell and manager James Topping from the sidelines, Ireland enjoyed big pool wins over Flashing Oemie of the Netherlands (59-7) and an international Dambusters collective (66-0) but came unstuck against China Shandong who advanced as Pool 3 winners from the Pier tournament on Saturday.

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Too many inaccuracies at the restart, in addition to a high penalty count, meant that Ireland played most of the first half without the ball. A John O’Donnell yellow card compounded this and the Chinese team scored two tries during the sin-binning.

A further try from an Irish turnover meant that they were 17-0 down at half-time. Three tries in the second half from Fionn Carr and Lansdowne team-mates Ian Fitzpatrick and O’Donnell were not enough as China prevailed 22-19.

Former Leinster and Connacht winger Carr scored four tries across Saturday’s three games, with team captain Fitzpatrick and Trinity’s Bryan Mollen both bagging braces against Flashing Oemie, while Cork Constitution’s Shane Daly, who was playing for the Ireland Under-20s this time last year, grabbed a hat-trick against the Dambusters.

Entering the Canon Cup competition on Sunday, Ireland put together convincing victories over Latvia’s Transact Pro (24-5) and Alkmaar Hunters of the Netherlands (45-0) with O’Donnell crossing the whitewash in both encounters and Mollen and Greg O’Shea of Shannon weighing in with two tries each against Alkmaar.

That set up a semi-final clash with O’Reilly’s Nike Bowerman Boys (Netherlands) in which Ireland dominated possession thanks to the pinpoint nature of Mark Roche’s restarts. They were far more clinical in attack and defence too, and big hits from Ulster Academy member Nick Timoney and Fitzpatrick, as well as pressure from the breakdown from all players, meant that the opposition were continually on the back foot.

Steve McMahon (2), Timoney, O’Donnell, Fitzpatrick and Carr shared out the six tries against the Bowerman side, while in the Canon Cup decider, Ireland ran out comprehensive 47-0 winners over the MyProtein Lemurs – an invitational team based in London – to add some more silverware to their recent Dublin 7s Festival success.

A strong start saw Timoney force a penalty, and a smart switch between Jimmy O’Brien and Fitzpatrick gave Ireland their first try, the latter showing a great turn of pace from halfway. Mollen and O’Donnell immediately won the ball back at the restart and Fitzpatrick’s lovely reverse pass put Timoney over for a second score.

O’Brien and O’Shea both forced penalties at the breakdown, with Ireland dominating the contact areas. A deserved try for former Ireland U-20 international O’Brien, who scampered through from a quick tap, made it 19-0 for half-time.

Lansdowne clubman O’Donnell was keen to make up for his costly yellow from Saturday, and his three tries – one the result of a huge tackle by O’Brien – gave Ireland an unassailable lead early in the second half. Carr rounded off the scoring with his seventh try of the weekend, two behind the impressive O’Donnell who notched nine across the two days. Fitzpatrick (6 tries), Mollen (5) and O’Shea and Daly (4 each) were also regular scorers.

Ireland’s pool opponents in Moscow next Saturday will be Wales, Germany and Georgia – it is the first of four tournaments that make up the Grand Prix Series, the others being Lodz in Poland, St. Etienne in France and Exeter in England.

The series offers the men in green the opportunity to qualify for the World Rugby Sevens Series Repechage next season in Hong Kong, as well as the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament in San Francisco next summer.

* You can watch full replays of Ireland’s Amsterdam play-off matches against Bowerman (5:01:45) and the Lemurs (7:14:40) in the below video:

IRELAND MEN’S SEVENS Squad (Amsterdam 7s Tournament, Saturday, May 27-Sunday, May 28):

Fionn Carr (Naas)
Shane Daly (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Ian Fitzpatrick (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Shane Layden (Buccaneers)
Steve McMahon (Garryowen/Munster)
Bryan Mollen (Dublin University)
Jimmy O’Brien (UCD/Leinster)
John O’Donnell (Lansdowne)
Greg O’Shea (Shannon/Munster)
Mark Roche (Lansdowne)
Steve Toal-Lennon (IQ Sevens)
Nick Timoney (Queen’s University/Ulster)

IRELAND MEN’S SEVENS Results –

Saturday, May 27

Amsterdams 7s – Pier Pool 3:

Ireland 59 Flashing Oemie (Netherlands) 7
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Ian Fitzpatrick 2, Bryan Mollen 2, Jimmy O’Brien, Fionn Carr, Greg O’Shea, Nick Timoney, Shane Daly; Cons: Mark Roche 5, Steve Toal-Lennon 2

Team: Nick Timoney, Bryan Mollen, Mark Roche, Greg O’Shea, Ian Fitzpatrick, Shane Daly, Steve McMahon.
Subs used: John O’Donnell, Fionn Carr, Jimmy O’Brien, Shane Layden, Steve Toal-Lennon.

Ireland 19 China Shandong (China) 22
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Fionn Carr, Ian Fitzpatrick, John O’Donnell; Cons: Mark Roche, Steve Toal-Lennon

Team: Nick Timoney, John O’Donnell, Bryan Mollen, Greg O’Shea, Jimmy O’Brien, Ian Fitzpatrick, Steve Toal-Lennon.
Subs used: Fionn Carr, Mark Roche, Shane Daly, Shane Layden, Steve McMahon.

Ireland 66 Dambusters (International) 0
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Shane Daly 3, Fionn Carr 2, John O’Donnell 2, Ian Fitzpatrick, Greg O’Shea, Bryan Mollen; Cons: Mark Roche 4, Steve Toal-Lennon 2, Greg O’Shea, John O’Donnell

Team: Fionn Carr, Mark Roche, Greg O’Shea, Ian Fitzpatrick, Shane Daly, Shane Layden, Steve McMahon.
Subs used: Nick Timoney, John O’Donnell, Bryan Mollen, Jimmy O’Brien, Steve Toal-Lennon.

Sunday, May 28

Amsterdam 7s – Canon Cup Pool 1:

Ireland 24 Transact Pro (Latvia) 5
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Fionn Carr, Steve McMahon, John O’Donnell, Mark Roche; Cons: Mark Roche, Steve Toal-Lennon

Team: Nick Timoney, John O’Donnell, Fionn Carr, Bryan Mollen, Mark Roche, Ian Fitzpatrick, Steve McMahon.
Subs used: Jimmy O’Brien, Shane Layden, Steve Toal-Lennon.

Ireland 45 Alkmaar Hunters (Netherlands) 0
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Nick Timoney, Bryan Mollen 2, Shane Layden, Greg O’Shea 2, John O’Donnell; Cons: Steve Toal-Lennon 5

Team: Nick Timoney, John O’Donnell, Bryan Mollen, Greg O’Shea, Jimmy O’Brien, Shane Layden, Steve Toal-Lennon.
Subs used: Fionn Carr, Shane Daly, Steve McMahon.

Canon Cup Semi-Final: Ireland 38 O’Reilly’s Nike Bowerman Boys (Netherlands) 0
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Steve McMahon 2, Nick Timoney, John O’Donnell, ian Fitzpatrick, Fionn Carr; Cons: Mark Roche 3, Steve Toal-Lennon

Team: Nick Timoney, John O’Donnell, Fionn Carr, Bryan Mollen, Mark Roche, Ian Fitzpatrick, Steve McMahon.
Subs used: Greg O’Shea, Jimmy O’Brien, Shane Layden, Steve Toal-Lennon.

Canon Cup Final: Ireland 47 MyProtein Lemurs 7s (England) 0
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: John O’Donnell 3, Nick Timoney, Ian Fitzpatrick, Jimmy O’Brien, Fionn Carr; Cons: Mark Roche 4, Steve Toal-Lennon 2

Team: Nick Timoney, John O’Donnell, Bryan Mollen, Mark Roche, Greg O’Shea, Jimmy O’Brien, Ian Fitzpatrick.
Subs used: Fionn Carr, Shane Daly, Shane Layden, Steve McMahon, Steve Toal-Lennon.