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Sixth Place Finish For Ireland Men In London

Sixth Place Finish For Ireland Men In London

Sixth Place Finish For Ireland Men In London

The Ireland Men's Sevens squad picked up a dozen World Series ranking points at Twickenham Stadium ©INPHO/Martin Seras Lima

The Ireland Men’s Sevens team finished as the leading northern hemisphere side for the second round running as the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series returned to London for the first time since 2019.

In Pics: Ireland’s Win Over England The Highlight At Twickenham

Sponsored by TritonLake, Ireland picked up 12 ranking points for a sixth place finish after losing 14-5 to World Series leaders South Africa in a tightly-contested play-off clash.

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Their highlight of the second day at Twickenham Stadium was a terrific 36-12 win over hosts England, during which Fergus Jemphrey registered his first World Series try and Terry Kennedy and Jack Kelly bagged a brace each.

Ireland’s fifth Cup quarter-final appearance in six tournaments ended in a 17-7 defeat to New Zealand, but they will take plenty of confidence into their upcoming Rugby Europe Sevens campaign and their bid to qualify for September’s Rugby World Cup Sevens.

Topping’s charges, who were silver medallists last week in Toulouse, are fifth in the World Series standings, sitting on 92 points with the final leg to come in Los Angeles in late August.

Kennedy was the leading try scorer in London with eight, just ahead of Australia’s Cup final hero Henry Paterson. The consistently excellent Dubliner has a clear lead as the World Series’ top try scorer.

He has amassed 47 tries in as many games so far, with his closest challengers being Australia’s Corey Toole and Argentinian star Marcos Moneta on 38 each.

To put Kennedy’s superb try-scoring form in context, the only other European player who has scored more tries in a single season in World Series history is England Sevens great Dan Norton (52 tries in 2013 and 51 in 2017).

It was a turnover penalty apiece early on in the quarter-final, although Ireland failed to profit from quick lineout ball. The All Blacks side countered downfield to eventually send Ngarohi McGarvey-Black over in the left corner.

A costly turnover from the restart led to Brady Rush making it 12-0, burrowing over from close range after Kennedy and Chay Mullins had initially done well to hold up Dylan Collier.

Ireland were falling foul of referee AJ Jacobs’ whistle with the breakdown a real free-for-all, but got on the scoreboard in the 10th minute when Kelly pounced on a loose Kiwi pass inside his own 22.

Kennedy moved play infield, Jordan Conroy gained a big chunk of ground up towards halfway and Hugo Lennox was able to link back inside with the onrushing Kennedy who had a 50-metre run-in behind the posts.

Mark Roche’s conversion closed the gap to 12-7 and the game ebbed and flowed in the closing stages, Kennedy forcing a penalty but New Zealand pinching the subsequent lineout and striking the killer blow from another turnover.

Harry McNulty carried hard up into the Kiwi 22, but the ball went loose at the ruck and Akuila Rokolisoa showed his fresh legs off the bench. He broke downfield to put fellow replacement Leroy Carter over in the left corner for the decisive try.

Now out of Cup contention, Ireland refocused on the fifth place bracket and rocked England with a try after just 11 seconds. Jemphrey swooped on a breaking ball from the kick-off, wriggling out of a tackle and outpacing Hayden Hyde to score out wide.

Kennedy took centre stage with a kick through that had a favourable bounce for Aaron O’Sullivan. The latter’s no-look offload went to ground but Lennox was there to attack the right corner and send Kennedy over for try number two.

Billy Dardis’ well-struck conversion was followed by a fifth-minute touchdown from O’Sullivan, who was the beneficiary of a well-timed overhead pass from the influential Lennox. The margin was out to 17 points.

Kennedy collected a superb McNulty pass at pace to get away from Charlton Kerr and run in Ireland’s fourth try, before Hyde, the former Ireland Under-20 international, responded for a 22-7 scoreline at the break.

Into the second half, Kennedy put Jemphrey through a gap and used a follow-up penalty to send the freshly-introduced Kelly over in the right corner. Dardis also nailed a pinpoint conversion from out wide.

Although Will Homer pulled back five points, Ireland stalled the English comeback with Kennedy showing his defensive grit to prevent both Joe Browning and Tom Bowen from scoring. Mullins also earned a turnover penalty.

Clean lineout ball set up Conroy for a burst back into English territory. Roche weaved infield from the right before Kennedy sent Kelly crashing over for the sixth and final try. Dardis was accurate again with a kick from beside the touchline.

The 5th place final was a rematch between Ireland and South Africa, and an early tussle between Roche and Branco du Preez showed exactly how fired up both sides were to end the weekend on a winning note.

Jemphrey featured prominently early on and Conroy needed a kinder bounce when a Lennox kick threatened to set up an opportunist try. It was a defence-dominated and scoreless first half, though.

Ireland did well to crowd out Impi Visser near the left corner, McNulty standing out for his ability to get over the gain line. He followed up to win an important turnover penalty as the Blitzboks continued to dominate territory.

The men in green were first to threaten in the second period, O’Sullivan’s direct run creating an opportunity but his attempted offload to the supporting Bryan Mollen found grass and bounced into touch.

South Africa finally broke the deadlock in the 10th minute through Visser, with Ronald Brown converting. Ireland built patiently for a response, led by O’Sullivan and a sidestepping Kennedy up the right wing.

McNulty grasped his chance in the 22, breaking a tackle from Dewald Human and showing good strength to finish off a five-pointer. Dardis nudged the conversion wide with 90 seconds left.

The all-important restart was heavily contested, but South Africa were awarded a penalty soon after and used the lineout ball clinically as Human’s short pass released the pacy Mfundo Ndhlovu to claim the clinching try from halfway.

IRELAND MEN’S SEVENS Squad (HSBC London Sevens, Twickenham Stadium, May 28-29, 2022):

Jordan Conroy (Buccaneers RFC)
Billy Dardis (Terenure College RFC) (capt)
Aaron O’Sullivan (Blackrock College RFC)
Jack Kelly (Dublin University FC)
Terry Kennedy (St. Mary’s College RFC)
Hugo Lennox (Skerries RFC)
Matthew McDonald (IQ Rugby)
Harry McNulty (UCD RFC)
Bryan Mollen (Blackrock College RFC)
Chay Mullins (IQ Rugby)
Mark Roche (Lansdowne FC)
Fergus Jemphrey (Blackheath RFC/IQ Rugby)
Andrew Smith (Clontarf FC/Leinster)


Saturday, May 28 –


IRELAND 17 KENYA 14, Twickenham Stadium
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Aaron O’Sullivan, Jordan Conroy, Terry Kennedy; Con: Mark Roche
Kenya: Tries: Edmund Anya, Arcadius Huku; Cons: Anthony Omondi 2
HT: Ireland 5 Kenya 0

Team: Harry McNulty, Jack Kelly (capt), Fergus Jemphrey, Mark Roche, Hugo Lennox, Aaron O’Sullivan, Chay Mullins.

Subs used: Terry Kennedy, Bryan Mollen, Jordan Conroy, Billy Dardis, Andrew Smith.

IRELAND 12 SOUTH AFRICA 19, Twickenham Stadium
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Jordan Conroy, Terry Kennedy; Con: Billy Dardis
South Africa: Tries: Zain Davids, Mfundo Ndhlovu, Angelo Davids; Cons: Ronald Brown 2
HT: Ireland 0 South Africa 7

Team: Harry McNulty, Bryan Mollen, Matthew McDonald, Billy Dardis (capt), Jordan Conroy, Terry Kennedy, Hugo Lennox.

Subs used: Mark Roche, Chay Mullins, Jack Kelly. Not used: Fergus Jemphrey.

IRELAND 22 ARGENTINA 21, Twickenham Stadium
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Terry Kennedy 3, Jordan Conroy; Con: Mark Roche
Argentina: Tries: Matias Osadczuk, Marcos Moneta, Luciano Gonzalez; Cons: Tobias Wade 3
HT: Ireland 17 Argentina 0

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

Subs used: Bryan Mollen, Billy Dardis, Matthew McDonald, Chay Mullins.

Day 1 Round-Up: Kennedy’s Late Tries Lift Ireland Men Into London’s Last-Eight

HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series – London Sevens Results

HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series – London Sevens Pool Tables

Sunday, May 29 –


NEW ZEALAND 17 IRELAND 7, Twickenham Stadium
Scorers: New Zealand: Tries: Ngarohi McGarvey-Black, Brady Rush, Leroy Carter; Con: Ngarohi McGarvey-Black
Ireland: Try: Terry Kennedy; Con: Hugo Lennox
HT: New Zealand 12 Ireland 0

Team: Harry McNulty, Jack Kelly (capt), Aaron O’Sullivan, Jordan Conroy, Terry Kennedy, Mark Roche, Chay Mullins.

Subs used: Billy Dardis, Bryan Mollen, Hugo Lennox, Matthew McDonald. Not used: Fergus Jemphrey.


ENGLAND 12 IRELAND 36, Twickenham Stadium
Scorers: England: Tries: Hayden Hyde, Will Homer; Con: Frederick Roddick
Ireland: Tries: Fergus Jemphrey, Terry Kennedy 2, Aaron O’Sullivan, Jack Kelly 2; Cons: Billy Dardis 3
HT: England 0 Ireland 0

Team: Harry McNulty, Bryan Mollen, Fergus Jemphrey, Billy Dardis (capt), Terry Kennedy, Hugo Lennox, Aaron O’Sullivan.

Subs used: Jack Kelly, Jordan Conroy, Chay Mullins, Matthew McDonald, Mark Roche.


IRELAND 5 SOUTH AFRICA 14, Twickenham Stadium
Scorers: Ireland: Try: Harry McNulty
South Africa: Tries: Impi Visser, Mfundo Ndhlovu; Cons: Ronald Brown 2
HT: Ireland 0 South Africa 0

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

Subs used: Bryan Mollen, Billy Dardis, Matthew McDonald, Aaron O’Sullivan. Not used: Chay Mullins.