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Kennedy Claims Second Hat-Trick As Ireland Men Finish Seventh

Kennedy Claims Second Hat-Trick As Ireland Men Finish Seventh

Dubliner Terry Kennedy got into double figures in Dubai, scoring hat-tricks against Japan and Kenya ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Terry Kennedy’s second hat-trick of the weekend steered the Ireland Men to a 29-7 play-off victory over Kenya at the opening HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series leg in Dubai.

Kennedy top-scored with a tournament-high 10 tries in sweltering temperatures, while Niall Comerford and Ed Kelly both touched down twice for James Topping’s young side.

A dramatic 17-12 extra-time defeat to Argentina knocked Ireland out of the Cup quarter-finals, and they went down heavily to Australia (35-14) before bouncing back to beat Kenya in convincing fashion.

Between retirements, injuries and unavailability, Ireland were without eight players from their Tokyo Olympics squad. Jude Postlethwaite, Zac Ward and Fergus Jemphrey made their World Series debuts.

Comerford, a member of the Leinster Academy, and Kelly, younger brother of Jack, only made their series bows in Vancouver two months ago. Seven of the Dubai squad are aged between 19 and 22.

Ireland only had ten players available for the Kenya clash, but it proved to be enough with the talismanic Kennedy sniping over after barely a minute’s play. Mark Roche converted.

Jemphrey’s break had ignited the Irish attack, and it was Comerford’s well-earned penalty at the breakdown which preceded try number two. Roche fed Aaron O’Sullivan to go over in the right corner.

Powerful young forward Ward broke a tackle and drew in two more defenders, offloading neatly for Kennedy to score again approaching half-time. Roche’s straightforward conversion made it 19-0.

Captain Billy Dardis came off the bench to send Kennedy over for his third try, and although Herman Humwa pulled one back, Kenya then lost Alvin Otieno to the sin bin for a deliberate knock-on.

Liam Turner made the hard yards to earn a late penalty, and Dardis and Comerford put the ball through the hands for Dublin University flyer Kelly to go over in the right corner.

The morning session had ended in bitter disappointment, a Tomas Lizazu try in the 16th minute of play sending Argentina through to the last-four at the expense of Ireland.

The Argentinians powered into a 12-0 lead, with German Schulz striding over after just 18 seconds. The same player carried strongly before Felipe del Mestre scythed through to score in the third minute.

Kennedy struck late on for the men in green, scoring from close range just before the interval. Roche and Turner’s counter-ruck won back the ball and Postlethwaite provided the assist.

There were 10 minutes on the clock when Kennedy doubled his contribution, winning the race to his own kick, wide on the right. Nice hands from Roche and Comerford has presented him with the opportunity.

Roche followed up with a terrific conversion, drawing Ireland level at 12 points apiece. A late surge saw Kennedy threaten from another kick before Argentina were tackled over their own try-line.

However, time was up and extra-time was called for. A knock-on from the restart gave the Pumas and a pacy move off the scrum released Lizazu to clinch it in the left corner.

Australia were the much sharper outfit in the 5th place semi-final, Corey Toole, skipper Nick Malouf and Dietrich Roache running in well-taken tries to establish a 21-0 half-time lead.

Good work from Ben Dowling unleashed Roache for his second score from halfway, early on the resumption, and some snappy interplay put Josh Turner over for their fifth converted try.

Kennedy sped clear for a long-range score and Comerford barged over for a second, as Ireland finished the game without Postlethwaite who was sent-off for taking a player out in the air.

IRELAND MEN’S SEVENS Squad (Dubai Sevens, The Sevens Stadium, Dubai, November 2021):

Jack Kelly (Dublin University FC)
Liam Turner (Dublin University FC/Leinster)
Mark Roche (Lansdowne FC)
Zac Ward (Ballynahinch RFC)
Bryan Mollen (Blackrock College RFC)
Billy Dardis (Terenure College RFC) (capt)
Sean Cribbin (Suttonians RFC)
Hugo Lennox (Skerries RFC)
Aaron O’Sullivan (Blackrock College RFC)
Terry Kennedy (St. Mary’s College RFC)
Niall Comerford (UCD RFC/Leinster)
Ed Kelly (Dublin University FC)
Jude Postlethwaite (Banbridge RFC/Ulster)

HSBC WORLD RUGBY SEVENS SERIES – DUBAI SEVENS RESULTS:

Friday, November 26 –

POOL C:

SOUTH AFRICA 28 IRELAND 7, The Sevens Stadium, Dubai
Scorers: South Africa: Tries: Selvyn Davids 2, Ronald Brown 2; Cons: Ronald Brown 4
Ireland: Try: Sean Cribbin; Con: Sean Cribbin
HT: South Africa 14 Ireland 0

Team: Jack Kelly, Liam Turner, Zac Ward, Billy Dardis (capt), Terry Kennedy, Hugo Lennox, Ed Kelly.

Subs used: Sean Cribbin, Aaron O’Sullivan. Not used: Mark Roche, Niall Comerford, Jude Postlethwaite.

GREAT BRITAIN 26 IRELAND 19, The Sevens Stadium, Dubai
Scorers: Great Britain: Tries: Jamie Farndale, Ross McCann, Tom Bowen, Jamie Barden; Cons: Robbie Fergusson 2, Jamie Barden
Ireland: Tries: Jude Postlethwaite, Terry Kennedy, Niall Comerford; Cons: Billy Dardis 2
HT: Great Britain 12 Ireland 7

Team: Jack Kelly, Liam Turner, Jude Postlethwaite, Billy Dardis (capt), Sean Cribbin, Terry Kennedy, Niall Comerford.

Subs used: Aaron O’Sullivan, Mark Roche, Fergus Jemphrey, Ed Kelly. Not used: Zac Ward.

IRELAND 33 JAPAN 0, The Sevens Stadium, Dubai
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Terry Kennedy 3, Liam Turner, Ed Kelly; Cons: Mark Roche 3, Billy Dardis
Japan: –
HT: Ireland 19 Japan 0

Team: Jack Kelly, Aaron O’Sullivan, Liam Turner, Sean Cribbin, Terry Kennedy (capt), Mark Roche, Ed Kelly.

Subs used: Jude Postlethwaite, Billy Dardis, Niall Comerford, Fergus Jemphrey, Zac Ward.

HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series – Dubai Sevens Results

HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series – Dubai Sevens Pool Tables

Saturday, November 27 –

CUP QUARTER-FINAL:

ARGENTINA 17 IRELAND 12, The Sevens Stadium, Dubai (after extra-time)
Scorers: Argentina: Tries: German Schulz, Felipe del Mestre, Tomas Lizazu; Con: Luciano Gonzalez
Ireland: Tries: Terry Kennedy 2; Con: Mark Roche
HT: Argentina 12

Team: Jack Kelly, Aaron O’Sullivan, Liam Turner, Sean Cribbin, Terry Kennedy (capt), Mark Roche, Niall Comerford.

Subs used: Billy Dardis, Ed Kelly, Jude Postlethwaite, Fergus Jemphrey, Zac Ward.

5TH PLACE SEMI-FINAL:

IRELAND 14 AUSTRALIA 35, The Sevens Stadium, Dubai
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Terry Kennedy, Niall Comerford; Cons: Mark Roche 2
Australia: Tries: Corey Toole, Nick Malouf, Dietrich Roache 2, Josh Turner; Cons: Dietrich Roache 5
HT: Ireland 0 Australia 21

Team: Jack Kelly, Fergus Jemphrey, Zac Ward, Billy Dardis (capt), Sean Cribbin, Terry Kennedy, Ed Kelly.

Subs used: Mark Roche, Aaron O’Sullivan, Liam Turner, Niall Comerford, Jude Postlethwaite.

7TH-8TH PLACE PLAY-OFF:

IRELAND 29 KENYA 7, The Sevens Stadium, Dubai
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Terry Kennedy 3, Aaron O’Sullivan, Ed Kelly; Cons: Mark Roche 2
Kenya: Try: Herman Humwa; Con: Anthony Omondi
HT: Ireland 19 Kenya 0

Team: Aaron O’Sullivan, Fergus Jemphrey, Zac Ward, Terry Kennedy (capt), Mark Roche, Niall Comerford, Ed Kelly.

Subs used: Billy Dardis, Sean Cribbin, Liam Turner.