Jump to main content

Menu

Eddy’s Ireland Claim Sixth Place At LA Sevens

Adam Leavy

Ireland's Adam Leavy reaches out to score a try against England on day two of the LA Sevens. ©Mike Lee/KLC Fotos/World Rugby

Ireland recorded their second sixth-place finish of the HSBC Men’s World Rugby Sevens Series campaign in Los Angeles on Sunday, as they rallied from the bitter disappointment of a heavy quarter-final defeat to Australia to match their result from Cape Town earlier in the season.

Anthony Eddy’s side, who progressed through to the quarter-finals as Pool B runners-up following a dramatic draw with South Africa, struggled to contain the power and pace of the Wallabies in their last-eight tie at Dignity Health Sports Park, coming out the wrong side of a 36-0 scoreline.

But Ireland, with Jordan Conroy in prolific try-scoring form, rebounded strongly in their fifth place play-off semi-final against England later on Sunday, before slipping to an agonising one-score loss to the USA in the fifth place final at the LA Sevens.

Two wins, a draw and three defeats from the tournament saw Eddy’s charges finish sixth and earn 12 points for the overall World Series rankings, with Ireland remaining in ninth position after five rounds of the 2019/20 season.

While the manner of their defeat to Australia stung, particularly after Ireland had gone toe-to-toe with the Blitzboks to book their place in the quarter-finals, overall it was an encouraging and progressive weekend for the Billy Dardis-led side as they look to build positive momentum heading towards June’s Olympic qualifying tournament.

Conroy scored twice in a commanding 26-7 win over England, with Terry Kennedy and Adam Leavy also getting in on the act, as Ireland found the perfect response to their quarter-final exit courtesy of a controlling and largely clinical performance.

Although England struck first on the scoreboard as Phil Burgess powered over, Ireland converted their possession into points through Conroy and Kennedy before the half-time break, with Conroy and Leavy making the game safe in the second period.

In the fifth place play-off final, Ireland found themselves 19 points behind the USA, who were backed by a vocal home crowd, and staring down the barrel of another heavy reversal as Martin Iosefo, Naima Fuala’au and Carlin Isles all crossed inside the first period.

But Conroy’s 22nd try of the season on the stroke of half-time kick-started Ireland into life and when the Buccaneers winger crashed over for his second of the game upon the restart, Eddy’s men were back in the contest.

With all the momentum at their backs and the home fans silenced, Mark Roche’s restart fell kindly for Liam Turner who, in turn, offloaded inside for Harry McNulty to go over under the posts for a seven-pointer to level the game at 19-all and give Ireland an unlikely shot at a remarkable comeback win.

As it was, however, the USA retained their composure to hold onto possession and ultimately stretch the Irish defence on this near side to send Danny Barrett hurtling through for the match-winner, with Ireland left to settle for sixth place from their week’s work in LA.

The squad will head to Vancouver on Monday for the sixth leg of the World Series season, which takes place at BC Place Stadium next Saturday and Sunday.

IRELAND MEN’S SEVENS Squad (2019/20 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series – Los Angeles Sevens, Saturday, February 29-Sunday, March 1; Vancouver Sevens, Saturday, March 7-Sunday, March 8):

Aaron O’Sullivan (Blackrock/Leinster)
Adam Leavy (Lansdowne)
Billy Dardis (Terenure College) (capt)
Bryan Mollen (Blackrock)
Graham Curtis (Malone/Ulster) *
Greg O’Shea (Shannon)
Harry McNulty (UCD)
Hugo Lennox (Skerries)
Jack Kelly (Dublin University)
Jordan Conroy (Buccaneers)
Liam Turner (Dublin University/Leinster)
Mark Roche (Lansdowne)
Terry Kennedy (St. Mary’s College)

* Denotes uncapped player

IRELAND MEN’S SEVENS – LA Sevens Results:

Saturday, February 29 –

Pool B:

Canada 12 Ireland 17, Dignity Health Sports Park
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Jordan Conroy, Greg O’Shea, Terry Kennedy; Con: Billy Dardis
HT: Canada 12 Ireland 5

Team: Adam Leavy, Harry McNulty, Jack Kelly, Billy Dardis (capt), Jordan Conroy, Terry Kennedy, Hugo Lennox.

Subs used: Greg O’Shea, Liam Turner. Not used: Mark Roche, Bryan Mollen, Aaron O’Sullivan.

Kenya 29 Ireland 12, Dignity Health Sports Park
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Terry Kennedy, Greg O’Shea; Con: Billy Dardis
HT: Kenya 12 Ireland 0

Team: Adam Leavy, Harry McNulty, Jack Kelly, Billy Dardis (capt), Jordan Conroy, Greg O’Shea, Aaron O’Sullivan.

Subs used: Terry Kennedy, Mark Roche, Bryan Mollen, Hugo Lennox, Liam Turner.

Ireland 19 South Africa 19, Dignity Health Sports Park
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Jack Kelly 2, Jordan Conroy; Cons: Billy Dardis 2
HT: Ireland 7 South Africa 7

Team: Adam Leavy, Harry McNulty, Jack Kelly, Billy Dardis (capt), Jordan Conroy, Terry Kennedy, Greg O’Shea.

Subs used: Hugo Lennox.Not used: Mark Roche, Bryan Mollen, Aaron O’Sullivan, Liam Turner.

Sunday, March 1 –

Quarter-Final: Ireland 0 Australia 36, Dignity Health Sports Park
Scorers: Ireland: –
HT: Ireland 0 Australia 19

Team: Adam Leavy, Harry McNulty, Jack Kelly, Billy Dardis (captain), Jordan Conroy, Terry Kennedy, Greg O’Shea

Subs used: Hugo Lennox, Mark Roche, Bryan Mollen, Liam Turner. Not used: Aaron O’Sullivan.

Fifth Place Play-Off Semi-Final: Ireland 26 England 7, Dignity Health Sports Park
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Terry Kennedy, Jordan Conroy 2, Adam Leavy; Cons: Billy Dardis 2, Mark Roche
HT: Ireland 14 England 7

Team: Harry McNulty, Jack Kelly, Liam Turner, Billy Dardis (capt), Jordan Conroy, Terry Kennedy, Hugo Lennox.

Subs used: Adam Leavy, Greg O’Shea, Mark Roche, Bryan Mollen, Graham Curtis.

Fifth Place Play-off Final: USA 24 Ireland 19, Dignity Health Sports Park
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Jordan Conroy 2, Harry McNulty; Cons: Mark Roche 2
HT: USA 19 Ireland 5

Team: Adam Leavy, Harry McNulty, Jack Kelly, Billy Dardis (capt), Jordan Conroy, Terry Kennedy, Hugo Lennox.

Subs used: Greg O’Shea, Mark Roche, Bryan Mollen, Liam Turner, Graham Curtis.