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Kennedy Brace Not Enough For Ireland Men Against Scotland

Jack Kelly

Ireland's Jack Kelly drives through the France defence in Hamilton. ©Mike Lee/KLC Fotos/World Rugby

Ireland Men’s Sevens endured a disappointing finish to their New Zealand Sevens campaign on Sunday afternoon as Anthony Eddy‘s side came out the wrong side of an entertaining affair against Scotland at the FMG Stadium Waikato.

Terry Kennedy‘s brace and another Jordan Conroy try, the winger’s 14th of the campaign, wasn’t enough for Ireland as they slipped to a 24-19 defeat in the 11th place Play-off in Hamilton, meaning Eddy’s charges finish the weekend in 12th position.

Ireland started the day harbouring ambitions of qualifying for the semi-finals from Pool C but Canada’s win over Spain, coupled with a narrow 17-7 loss to France, meant they dropped down to the ranking Play-offs and the tournament ultimately ended in defeat for the Billy Dardis-led side.

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A 12th-place finish earns Ireland five points for their overall HSBC Men’s World Sevens Series tally, moving them up to 22 points for the 2019/20 campaign following 12th and sixth place finishes in Dubai and Cape Town respectively back in December.

Kennedy’s breakaway score gave Ireland the perfect start against Scotland but after Conroy was sent to the bin, the Scots took full advantage to seize the half-time lead through Dougie Fife and Max McFarland.

Backed by a large Irish contingent in Hamilton, Ireland reasserted their ascendancy as Conroy broke from deep to maintain his position as the leading try scorer on this season’s World Series, but it was Scotland who finished strongly through Gavin Lowe and match-winner Alex Coombes.

Ireland will hope to use the lessons from this weekend heading into the fourth leg of the World Series in Sydney from next Saturday, February 1.