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Ireland Fall Just Short Of Medal Finish In Singapore

Ireland Fall Just Short Of Medal Finish In Singapore

Andrew Smith leads an attack during Ireland's Cup quarter-final victory over the USA in Singapore ©INPHO/Martin Seras Lima

The Ireland Men’s Sevens team, sponsored by TritonLake, endured a couple of heart-breaking finishes on a dramatic final day of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series leg in Singapore.

In Pics: Ireland Finish Fourth On Singapore Sevens Debut

Having boxed clever with their selection to overcome a fourth-ranked USA 14-12 at the quarter-final stage, tries from Jordan Conroy, Terry Kennedy and Gavin Mullin had them on the cusp of reaching their first ever World Series final.

However, with just seconds left, New Zealand denied them with a sucker punch score from Akuila Rokolisoa, the 22-19 defeat sending James Topping’s side into their second successive bronze final.

They still had a medal to fight for and recovered from a 14-0 deficit to draw level with Australia, with tries from Hugo Lennox and Mullin seeing them take momentum into half-time.

Leinster Academy winger Andrew Smith, who had a fine tournament with three starts, crossed late on to cancel out a Dietrich Roache try, but captain Billy Dardis unfortunately hit the post with the touchline conversion as the Australians prevailed 21-19.

The sheer highs and lows of a helter-skelter Sevens weekend made for mixed emotions at the end, but Dardis and his team-mates can look back on their Singapore debut with immense pride.

With back-to-back fourth place finishes, they have climbed above France into fifth place in the overall standings. Two new caps were blooded in IQ Rugby duo Matt McDonald and Chay Mullins, fresh from the Ireland Under-20s’ Grand Slam win.

Topping’s men made history with their first ever win over Fiji, the eventual Singapore champions, and were desperately close to claiming New Zealand’s scalp too.

Harry McNulty’s return really bolstered the forwards, particularly with the bread-and-butter work at restarts and set-piece play, and the twinkle-toed Jordan Conroy was also back in flying form, racking up six tries.

The Tullamore man was the second-joint top try scorer in Singapore, while his partner in crime, Terry Kennedy, is level at the top of the scoring charts for this season with 27, a tally only matched by Australia’s Corey Toole.

The Singapore event saw Kennedy become only the second Irishman after Conroy to score 50 World Series tries. His tally now stands at 51 in 69 matches, while Conroy is on 62 in 60 games.

Ireland’s form augurs well for next week’s leg in Vancouver, where they will be looking to improve on their eighth place finish from the two-legged 2021 campaign that was based in Canada.

IRELAND MEN’S SEVENS Squad (HSBC Singapore Sevens, National Stadium, Singapore, April 2022):

Tamilore Awonusi (IQ Rugby)
Jordan Conroy (Buccaneers RFC)
Billy Dardis (Terenure College RFC) (capt)
Jack Kelly (Dublin University FC)
Terry Kennedy (St. Mary’s College RFC)
Steven Kilgallen (UCD RFC)
Hugo Lennox (Skerries RFC)
Matt McDonald (IQ Rugby)
Harry McNulty (UCD RFC)
Gavin Mullin (UCD RFC)
Chay Mullins (IQ Rugby)
Mark Roche (Lansdowne FC)
Andrew Smith (Clontarf FC/Leinster)

HSBC WORLD RUGBY SEVENS SERIES – SINGAPORE SEVENS RESULTS:

Saturday, April 9 –

POOL D:

IRELAND 21 FIJI 12, National Stadium, Singapore
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Jordan Conroy 2, Terry Kennedy; Cons: Billy Dardis 2, Mark Roche
Fiji: Tries: Vuiviawa Naduvalo, Joseva Talacolo; Con: Waisea Nacuqu
HT: Ireland 14 Fiji 0

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

Subs used: Gavin Mullin, Mark Roche, Tamilore Awonusi, Matt McDonald. Not used: Chay Mullins.

IRELAND 38 JAPAN 7, National Stadium, Singapore
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Terry Kennedy, Chay Mullins 2, Tamilore Awonusi 2, Jordan Conroy; Cons: Hugo Lennox 4
Japan: Try: Kazuma Nakagawa; Con: Taiga Ishida
HT: Ireland 21 Japan 7

Team: Jack Kelly (capt), Tamilore Awonusi, Matt McDonald, Terry Kennedy, Hugo Lennox, Steven Kilgallen, Chay Mullins.

Subs used: Mark Roche, Andrew Smith, Jordan Conroy, Harry McNulty, Gavin Mullin.

IRELAND 5 FRANCE 12, National Stadium, Singapore
Scorers: Ireland: Try: Jordan Conroy
France: Tries: Jordan Sepho, Jonathan Laugel; Con: Paulin Riva
HT: Ireland 0 France 12

Team: Harry McNulty, Jack Kelly, Andrew Smith, Jordan Conroy, Terry Kennedy (capt), Mark Roche, Hugo Lennox.

Subs used: Billy Dardis, Gavin Mullin, Tamilore Awonusi, Matt McDonald. Not used: Chay Mullins.

Day 1 Round-Up: Ireland Men Stun Fiji On Way To Singapore Quarter-Final

HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series – Singapore Sevens Results

HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series – Singapore Sevens Pool Tables

Sunday, April 10 –

CUP QUARTER-FINAL:

USA 12 IRELAND 14, National Stadium, Singapore
Scorers: USA: Tries: Lucas Lacamp, Perry Baker; Con: Folau Niua
Ireland: Tries: Hugo Lennox, Jordan Conroy; Cons: Hugo Lennox, Billy Dardis
HT: USA 7 Ireland 7

Team: Harry McNulty, Tamilore Awonusi, Matt McDonald, Terry Kennedy, Hugo Lennox, Steven Kilgallen, Chay Mullins.

Subs used: Billy Dardis, Gavin Mullin, Jack Kelly, Jordan Conroy, Andrew Smith.

CUP SEMI-FINAL:

IRELAND 19 NEW ZEALAND 22, National Stadium, Singapore
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Jordan Conroy, Terry Kennedy, Gavin Mullin; Cons: Billy Dardis, Mark Roche
New Zealand: Tries: Regan Ware, Dylan Collier, Trael Joass, Akuila Rokolisoa; Con: Andrew Knewstubb
HT: Ireland 7 New Zealand 5

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

Subs used: Mark Roche, Matt McDonald, Gavin Mullin. Not used: Tamilore Awonusi, Chay Mullins.

BRONZE FINAL:

AUSTRALIA 21 IRELAND 19, National Stadium, Singapore
Scorers: Australia: Tries: Corey Toole, Ben Marr, Dietrich Roache; Cons: Dietrich Roache 3
Ireland: Tries: Hugo Lennox, Gavin Mullin, Andrew Smith; Cons: Mark Roche 2
HT: Australia 14 Ireland 14

Team: Harry McNulty, Tamilore Awonusi, Matt McDonald, Mark Roche, Hugo Lennox, Gavin Mullin, Chay Mullins.

Subs used: Billy Dardis, Terry Kennedy, Jack Kelly, Jordan Conroy, Andrew Smith.