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Ireland To Face Canada In Edmonton’s Last-Eight

Ireland To Face Canada In Edmonton’s Last-Eight

Leinster's Liam Turner leads an attack for Ireland during their final pool game against Great Britain

For the second week running, the Ireland Men’s Sevens team went unbeaten on day one to top their pool at the HSBC Canada Sevens in Edmonton.

Anthony Eddy’s charges pipped Germany 19-17 thanks to a late Niall Comerford try, doubled their win tally against Jamaica (38-7), and drew 12-all with Great Britain in the final round.

Conor Phillips added to his four-try haul from Vancouver, finishing today with two tries – a tally matched by Shane Jennings, captain Bryan Mollen and the returning Jordan Conroy.

In this final leg of the much-shortened 2021 World Series, Ireland, who have James Topping in the coach’s hot seat, will play hosts Canada at the quarter-final stage tomorrow (kick-off 9.42am local time/4.42pm Irish time).

Phillips opened his Edmonton account inside the opening minute of the Germany game, darting clear for the right corner after Sean Cribbin had won a turnover penalty.

German captain Carlos Soteras Merz arrowed through a gap to respond in the third minute, and Fabian Heimpel’s evasive running sent Ben Ellermann streaking clear from his own half.

Ellermann’s late try was converted by Heimpel for a 12-5 lead, but there was still time for Ireland to level before half-time through Jennings, who scrambled over following a quick tap.

Missed tackles proved costly for Ireland in a slow-burning second half, as Tim Litchenberg sat Phillips down to move Germany back ahead.

However, Heimpel missed the conversion and a subsequent yellow card for Sam Rainger, who was guilty of playing the ball on the ground, gave Ireland a gilt-edged chance to hit back.

Well past the final hooter, Billy Dardis combined with fellow replacement Comerford who zoomed straight in under the posts for the try’s creator to land the match-winning conversion.

Jamaica were next up in Pool C and Phillips was quickly on the scoresheet again, with Ireland immediately getting on the attack thanks to Jennings’ tap-down of the kick-off to Mollen.

Chris Cosgrave, whose bouncing pass had set up the first try, fed a neat ball in behind the defender’s back for his skipper to score behind the posts. Cosgrave converted to make it 12-0.

Ireland added a dozen more points before the interval, Cosgrave racing away from three defenders for the third try and a lovely arching pass from Comerford put Mollen away for his second.

Jennings began the second half with an excellent individual try, breaking out of the Irish 22, regathering his own kick down the right touchline and beating two more defenders.

Comerford won a penalty and then popped up on the opposite wing to send Conroy sprinting clear for Ireland’s sixth, converted by Cosgrave.

The Crocs battled on and, with the ball squirting out of an Irish ruck, teenager Oliver Melville pulled back a consolation score, leaving it 38-7 at the finish.

Ireland fell behind to an early try against Britain, Tom Bowen getting on the outside – just clear of Liam Turner’s diving tackle – to score from inside his own half.

Turner answered back in the best possible way, showing good strength to score out wide in the fifth minute. Credit to Aaron O’Sullivan who had been hobbling but played his part in providing the assist.

Cribbin curled over a terrific conversion for an Irish lead, and in the last play of the half, a slick switch between speedsters Phillips and Conroy sent the latter free to make it 12-5.

Nonetheless, it was level-pegging again in the 11th minute, Max McFarland slipping out of a Conroy tackle to touch down. Scrum half Luke Treharne converted.

A Turner break, via a Jennings offload, raised Ireland’s hopes of splitting the sides at the death. Yet, the game petered out with third-placed Britain content to settle for a draw.

IRELAND MEN’S SEVENS Squad (Canada Sevens, Edmonton, September 2021):

Niall Comerford (UCD RFC/Leinster)
Jordan Conroy (Buccaneers RFC)
Chris Cosgrave (UCD RFC/Leinster)
Sean Cribbin (Suttonians RFC)
Billy Dardis (Terenure College RFC)
Shane Jennings (Buccaneers RFC/Connacht)
Sean Kearns (Ireland Sevens)
Steven Kilgallen (UCD RFC)
Bryan Mollen (Blackrock College RFC) (capt)
Ben Moxham (Ballymena RFC/Ulster)
Aaron O’Sullivan (Blackrock College RFC/Leinster)
Conor Phillips (Young Munster RFC/Munster)
Liam Turner (Dublin University FC/Leinster)

HSBC WORLD RUGBY SEVENS SERIES – CANADA SEVENS EDMONTON RESULTS/FIXTURES:

Saturday, September 25 –

POOL C:

IRELAND 19 GERMANY 17, Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Conor Phillips, Shane Jennings, Niall Comerford; Cons: Sean Cribbin, Billy Dardis
Germany: Tries: Carlos Soteras Merz, Ben Ellermann, Tim Litchenberg; Con: Fabian Heimpel
HT: Ireland 12 Germany 12

Team: Bryan Mollen (capt), Liam Turner, Shane Jennings, Sean Cribbin, Conor Phillips, Sean Kearns, Chris Cosgrave.

Subs: Billy Dardis, Jordan Conroy, Aaron O’Sullivan, Ben Moxham, Niall Comerford.

IRELAND 38 JAMAICA 7, Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Conor Phillips, Bryan Mollen 2, Chris Cosgrave, Shane Jennings, Jordan Conroy; Cons: Chris Cosgrave 4
Jamaica: Try: Oliver Melville; Con: Lucas Roy-Smith
HT: Ireland 24 Jamaica 0

Team: Bryan Mollen (capt), Ben Moxham, Shane Jennings, Conor Phillips, Steven Kilgallen, Niall Comerford, Chris Cosgrave.

Subs: Billy Dardis, Jordan Conroy, Aaron O’Sullivan, Liam Turner, Sean Kearns.

GREAT BRITAIN 12 IRELAND 12, Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton
Scorers: Great Britain: Tries: Tom Bowen, Max McFarland; Con: Luke Treharne
Ireland: Tries: Liam Turner, Jordan Conroy; Con: Sean Cribbin
HT: Great Britain 5 Ireland 12

Team: Bryan Mollen (capt), Aaron O’Sullivan, Liam Turner, Sean Cribbin, Jordan Conroy, Conor Phillips, Sean Kearns.

Subs: Billy Dardis, Ben Moxham, Shane Jennings, Steven Kilgallen, Niall Comerford.

HSBC Canada Sevens Edmonton Results/Fixtures

HSBC Canada Sevens Edmonton Pool Tables

Sunday, September 26 –

CUP QUARTER-FINAL:

IRELAND v CANADA, Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton, 9.42am local time/4.42pm Irish time