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Ireland Men Miss Out On Cup Quarter-Final Place In Vancouver

Ireland Men Miss Out On Cup Quarter-Final Place In Vancouver

UCD's Steven Kilgallen breaks free to set up Ireland's opening try of the tournament for Terry Kennedy ©INPHO/Travis Prior

The Ireland Men’s Sevens team, sponsored by TritonLake, missed out on a Cup quarter-final berth for the first time this season as the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series hit Vancouver.

In Pics: Ireland Men Finish Third In Canada Sevens Pool

Captain Billy Dardis converted his own try to give Ireland a 19-12 opening win over Scotland, but subsequent defeats to France (29-12) and third-ranked Argentina (26-19) saw them finish third in Pool D.

Terry Kennedy scored in each game, staying level with Australia’s Corey Toole on 30 tries at the top of this season’s try-scoring charts. Jordan Conroy also ran in three tries to move him onto 65 in his World Series career.

James Topping’s side will regroup for a 9th place quarter-final against Kenya tomorrow (kick-off 9.44am local time/5.44pm Irish time). The winners will play either Wales or Spain.

The pool stages had started in business-like fashion for Ireland, fresh from their fourth place finish in Singapore. Steven Kilgallen took advantage of a defensive slip to break through and send Kennedy over in the left corner.

Hugo Lennox converted and it was his quick tap and pass that released Andrew Smith from halfway, the Leinster Academy winger using his quick feet to step inside two defenders to make it 12-0 in the fourth minute.

Kaleem Barreto broke clean through around the side of the ruck to make it a five-point game at the break, and Scotland drew level when Jordan Edmunds showed good strength to cross in the right corner.

A Scottish error from the restart handed possession back to Ireland, who forced a penalty in the opposition 22 where Kennedy’s quick tap set up Dardis to score close to the posts and convert.

That proved to be the final scoring opportunity for either yram, with Ireland able to hold their Celtic rivals at arm’s length. Harry McNulty got in at the breakdown to win a decisive penalty towards the end of a hard-fought victory.

France’s Nelson Epee had the beating of Chay Mullins for two tries as Ireland fell 10-0 behind to France, but a strong finish to the first half saw Topping’s charges get back on track.

Despite losing Gavin Mullin to injury, Ireland recovered well and Kennedy got his hands free to pass out of a tackle for Conroy to score. Dardis drilled over the conversion from the left.

There was more to come, possession won back from the restart and despite a pass going loose, Jack Kelly ducked, drew in two defenders and squeezed an offload out for Kennedy to go over in the left corner.

Frustratingly, Ireland’s defence let them down during the second half as two missed tackles allowed Aaron Grandidier to score from the French 10-metre line with Paulin Riva converting.

17-12 became 24-12 when les Bleus intercepted and Epee, breaking away down the blindside of a ruck, completed his hat-trick. Joachim Trouabal added a fifth try in the final play, profiting from a turnover at the breakdown.

Dardis and his team-mates knew that a win over Argentina would still put them through to the last-eight, but los Pumas went on to claim their eleventh victory in 13 World Series meetings with Ireland.

Kennedy’s trademark arcing run and a well-timed pass sent Conroy over for a fourth-minute opener. Argentina had leaked a series of early penalties and Tamilore Awonusi hoovered up lineout possession.

Nonetheless, a German Schulz brace saw Argentina take a 14-7 half-time lead, as he handed off Smith and scored out wide despite Awonusi’s last-ditch tackle in the left corner.

Lennox saw yellow for slowing up an Argentinian penalty and Luciano Gonzalez powered past halfway, the ball sweeping back out to the left where Schulz used a big fend to get away from Conroy and score.

Schulz turned provider to send the fresh legs of Marcos Moneta in under the posts inside a minute of the restart. Conroy clawed back five points with a 60-metre burst down the right touchline, Kennedy again providing the assist.

It remained 21-12 with Dardis missing the difficult conversion, but Argentina hit back straight from the restart with a breakaway effort from Lautaro Bazan Velez who gobbled up the breaking ball and romped clear.

Lennox’s clever dummy and run through a gap released Kennedy for a well-taken long-range try in response, yet it was a case of too little, too late as Ireland suffered back-to-back losses.

IRELAND MEN’S SEVENS Squad (HSBC Canada Sevens, BC Place, Vancouver, 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 – CANADA SEVENS FIXTURES/RESULTS:

Saturday, April 16 –

POOL D:

IRELAND 19 SCOTLAND 12, BC Place
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Terry Kennedy, Andrew Smith, Billy Dardis; Cons: Hugo Lennox, Billy Dardis
Scotland: Kaleem Barreto, Jordan Edmunds; Con: Harvey Elms
HT: Ireland 12 Scotland 7

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

Subs used: Billy Dardis, Harry McNulty, Matt McDonald, Jordan Conroy, Gavin Mullin.

IRELAND 12 FRANCE 29, BC Place
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Jordan Conroy, Terry Kennedy; Con: Billy Dardis
France: Tries: Nelson Epee 3, Aaron Grandidier, Joachim Trouabal; Cons: Paulin Riva 2
HT: Ireland 12 France 10

Team: Harry McNulty, Jack Kelly, Matt McDonald, Billy Dardis (capt), Terry Kennedy, Gavin Mullin, Chay Mullins.

Subs used: Jordan Conroy, Hugo Lennox, Mark Roche, Andrew Smith. Not used: Tamilore Awonusi.

IRELAND 19 ARGENTINA 26, BC Place
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Jordan Conroy 2, Terry Kennedy; Cons: Mark Roche, Billy Dardis
Argentina: Tries: German Schulz 2, Marcos Moneta, Lautaro Bazan Velez; Cons: Tobias Wade 3
HT: Ireland 7 Argentina 14

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

Subs used: Matt McDonald, Chay Mullins, Billy Dardis, Jack Kelly. Not used: Steven Kilgallen.

HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series – Canada Sevens Fixtures/Results

HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series – Canada Sevens Pool Tables

Sunday, April 17 –

9TH PLACE QUARTER-FINAL:

IRELAND v KENYA, BC Place, kick-off 9.44am local time/5.44pm Irish time