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Eighth Place Finish For Ireland Men In Dubai

Eighth Place Finish For Ireland Men In Dubai

Eighth Place Finish For Ireland Men In Dubai

Jordan Conroy returned to World Series action with a six-try haul in Dubai ©Mike Lee/KLC Fotos/World Rugby

The Ireland Men endured a winless final day of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series second leg in Dubai, despite the try-scoring exploits of Terry Kennedy and Jordan Conroy.

The jet-heeled pair scored six tries each – joining four other players at the top of the tournament’s scoring charts – with Kennedy continuing as the series’ leading try scorer. He has 16 tries so far.

The play-offs proved frustrating for James Topping’s side, who were knocked out of the Cup reckoning by Australia (24-12), before Great Britain (24-19) and the USA (26-19) won two matches of very tight margins.

Their final position of eighth is a drop of one place from last week’s season opener at The Sevens Stadium. It has been a steady start to the campaign, though, with 21 World Series ranking points picked up.

There have been World Series debuts for Zac Ward (22), Jude Postlethwaite (19), Fergus Jemphrey (24) and Andrew Smith (21) at these back-to-back Dubai events, and first series tries for Sean Cribbin, Ward and Postlethwaite.

Replying to a Ben Dowling try from halfway, Ireland bounced back to lead Australia 12-7 at half-time in their early morning quarter-final tussle.

Ward began the fightback, winning a turnover at the breakdown. Conroy quickly tore through the middle, evading one tackler and shrugging off another to zoom in under the posts.

Mark Roche levelled with the conversion before Ward forced a late penalty at ruck time. The Australians were whistled up two more times before Henry Hutchison saw yellow.

The extra man was capitalised on when Kennedy sniped over wide on the left, but Australia scored against the run of play on the restart. Corey Toole broke clean through from his own 22.

Ireland unfortunately lost Conroy to a back injury, and Australia kept hold of the momentum, working Henry Paterson over for a fine try before Dietrich Roache added a last-minute penalty.

Conroy was able to briefly return for another showdown with Britain, and he provided the decoy for Kennedy to glide through a gap and score behind the posts after barely 30 seconds.

Captain Billy Dardis supplied the extras, but Britain showed their quality, freeing up Max McFarland and Alex Davis for tries and a 12-7 half-time advantage.

The accuracy returned for Topping’s charges when the Kelly brothers combined in the ninth minute, Jack drawing a defender wide and flicking an offload back inside for the speedy Ed to romp clear from the GB 10-metre line.

The conversion from Dardis split the sides at 14-12, but they were level by full-time as McFarland doubled his contribution before replacement Roche hit back from a quick tap, well past the hooter.

The hard graft of the previous phases caught up with Roche who pulled a difficult conversion wide, taking the game into extra-time at 19-all. The same player missed a penalty to win it in sudden death.

Instead, it was Britain who snatched the win, their bench proving crucial as the fresh-legged Jamie Farndale got on the outside of Liam Turner to charge clear and score with 20 minutes on the clock.

A late two-try rally was not enough for Ireland in their final outing, as they lost by seven points to a powerful USA outfit. Postlethwaite and Aaron O’Sullivan had both picked up knocks and were not involved.

The men in green controlled possession early on, some nice interplay down the right wing seeing the Leinster Academy’s Niall Comerford send Cribbin in behind the posts to make it 7-0.

Lucas Lacamp’s arcing run earned him a try in response, and the Americans took a 14-7 lead into the second half, with Smith unfortunate to be tackled short on a promising Irish raid.

Comerford did brilliantly to deny Lacamp a second breakaway try, yet Kevon Williams crossed after Ireland had coughed up a free-kick from the resulting five-metre scrum.

The strong-carrying Joe Schroeder and Steve Tomasin both bounded clear from their own half to take the US try tally to four, while Schroeder also thwarted Conroy as another Irish attack went unrewarded.

The Buccaneers clubman slipped out of a tackle from Carlin Isles to score, but injury again caught up with him as he was replaced while Dardis converted.

Ireland finished the stronger, Jack Kelly winning a turnover and Turner, a real workhorse around the field, fed Kennedy who stayed clear of the chasing Isles on a rip-roaring race to the line.

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

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


Friday, December 3 –


GREAT BRITAIN 24 IRELAND 21, The Sevens Stadium, Dubai
Scorers: Great Britain: Tries: Morgan Williams, Jamie Farndale, Max McFarland 2; Cons: Robbie Fergusson 2
Ireland: Tries: Jordan Conroy 2, Jude Postlethwaite; Cons: Billy Dardis 3
HT: Great Britain 12 Ireland 7

Team: Jack Kelly, Aaron O’Sullivan, Liam Turner, Billy Dardis (capt), Sean Cribbin, Jordan Conroy, Terry Kennedy.

Subs used: Niall Comerford, Jude Postlethwaite, Mark Roche, Zac Ward. Not used: Ed Kelly.

SOUTH AFRICA 21 IRELAND 12, The Sevens Stadium, Dubai
Scorers: South Africa: Tries: Shilton van Wyk, Selvyn Davids, Impi Visser; Cons: Branco du Preez, Ronald Brown 2
Ireland: Tries: Terry Kennedy, Aaron O’Sullivan; Con: Mark Roche
HT: South Africa 7 Ireland 0

Team: Jack Kelly, Zac Ward, Andrew Smith, Jordan Conroy, Terry Kennedy (capt), Mark Roche, Ed Kelly.

Subs used: Liam Turner, Jude Postlethwaite, Aaron O’Sullivan, Niall Comerford, Sean Cribbin.

IRELAND 41 JAPAN 0, The Sevens Stadium, Dubai
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Jordan Conroy 2, Terry Kennedy 2, Jack Kelly, Zac Ward 2; Cons: Billy Dardis 2, Mark Roche
Japan: –
HT: Ireland 19 Japan 0

Team: Jack Kelly, Aaron O’Sullivan, Liam Turner, Billy Dardis (capt), Sean Cribbin, Jordan Conroy, Terry Kennedy.

Subs used: Jude Postlethwaite, Ed Kelly, Zac Ward, Mark Roche, Andrew Smith.

HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series – Dubai Sevens Results

HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series – Dubai Sevens Pool Tables

Saturday, December 4 –


AUSTRALIA 24 IRELAND 12, The Sevens Stadium, Dubai
Scorers: Australia: Tries: Ben Dowling, Corey Toole, Henry Paterson; Cons: Dietrich Roache 3; Pen: Dietrich Roache
Ireland: Tries: Jordan Conroy, Terry Kennedy; Con: Mark Roche
HT: Australia 7 Ireland 12

Team: Jack Kelly, Zac Ward, Andrew Smith, Sean Cribbin, Jordan Conroy, Terry Kennedy (capt), Mark Roche.

Subs used: Liam Turner, Ed Kelly, Niall Comerford, Billy Dardis.


IRELAND 19 GREAT BRITAIN 24, The Sevens Stadium, Dubai (after extra-time)
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Terry Kennedy, Ed Kelly, Mark Roche; Cons: Billy Dardis 2
Great Britain: Tries: Max McFarland 2, Alex Davis, Jamie Farndale; Cons: Robbie Fergusson 2
HT: Australia 7 Ireland 12

Team: Jack Kelly, Liam Turner, Zac Ward, Billy Dardis (capt), Jordan Conroy, Terry Kennedy, Niall Comerford.

Subs used: Ed Kelly, Andrew Smith, Mark Roche, Sean Cribbin.


IRELAND 19 USA 26, The Sevens Stadium, Dubai
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Sean Cribbin, Jordan Conroy, Terry Kennedy; Cons: Mark Roche, Billy Dardis
USA: Tries: Lucas Lacamp, Kevon Williams, Joe Schroeder, Steve Tomasin; Cons: Steve Tomasin 3
HT: Ireland 7 USA 14

Team: Jack Kelly (capt), Zac Ward, Andrew Smith, Sean Cribbin, Jordan Conroy, Mark Roche, Niall Comerford.

Subs used: Ed Kelly, Billy Dardis, Terry Kennedy, Liam Turner.