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Ireland Men Are Crowned Rugby Europe Sevens Trophy Champions After Budapest Win

Ireland Men Are Crowned Rugby Europe Sevens Trophy Champions After Budapest Win

Ireland Men Are Crowned Rugby Europe Sevens Trophy Champions After Budapest Win

Fergus Jemphrey and debutant Sean Galvin lift the silverware in sunny Budapest following the completion of the Rugby Europe Sevens Trophy Series

The Ireland Men’s Sevens team, sponsored by TritonLake, made it two tournament wins in the space of a week after being crowned Rugby Europe Sevens Trophy Series champions for 2022.

Building on their success in Zagreb last week, James Topping’s men put together another six-match winning run in Budapest to win the final leg and the overall title.

Closing tries from debutant Sean Galvin and Mark Roche sealed a 35-14 final victory over England, the squad’s efforts across the two legs also, importantly, securing promotion back to the Rugby Europe Championship Series for 2023 – an Olympic qualification year.

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In the more immediate term, it gives them a winning lead-in to the Rugby World Cup Sevens qualifying tournament which will be held in Bucharest over the weekend of July 16-17.

Ireland, who reached today’s final by beating Croatia (57-0) and Romania (54-0), scored 42 tries in Budapest and conceded just three. With star winger Jordan Conroy injured for the final two games, Aaron O’Sullivan and Chay Mullins stepped up in the try-scoring stakes with six each.

Lansdowne winger Galvin, on his Ireland Sevens bow, chipped in with three tries, while tireless forward Matt McDonald touched down four times and Dublin University’s Ed Kelly ran in five tries.

Captain Billy Dardis, who won the Trophy Series back in 2016 alongside Harry McNulty, made it an extra special occasion this evening for Galvin and Fergus Jemphrey who lifted the respective tournament and series trophies at the presentation ceremony.

In this morning’s Cup quarter-final against Croatia, Mullins caught the kick-off and shrugged off two defenders to burst clear for an immediate try. O’Sullivan quickly made it 14-0, ripping possession away just a few metres out.

O’Sullivan accelerated through from halfway to score again in the fourth minute, Sean Kearns’ sidestepping run earned him a try and Mullins completed his first half brace by striking off a close-in ruck.

Leading 33-0 at the break, a McDonald turnover swiftly saw Ireland add to their lead as lively replacement Kelly was released for the left corner.

Croatia then allowed Kearns’ well-placed restart to bounce and Kelly swooped in for a quick-fire double in the same corner, making it 43-0.

O’Sullivan saw yellow for a high tackle with two minutes remaining, but Belfast man Jemphrey jinked into space just outside the Irish 22 and burned off the chasers for a very well-taken converted try from far out.

Good work from the Roche brothers, Mark and Tom, saw the ball worked wide in the dying seconds and Kelly stepped inside a defender for his hat-trick score, which he converted from behind the posts.

Romania paid the price for Robert Neagu’s early sin-binning in the semi-final, his deliberate knock-on handing Ireland a penalty try, but the Oaks side knuckled down and threatened from a kick through.

With Kelly in the bin, Mullins tracked back to produce a try-saving tackle and it was not until just before half-time that Topping’s charges got a grip on the game.

Jemphrey and Dardis combined to send McDonald over to the left of the posts, following a Mullins-won turnover penalty, and the latter reached over soon after to give Ireland a 21-point buffer.

Fresh off the bench, the long-striding O’Sullivan romped clear from inside the Irish 22 to score and build further momentum on the restart.

McDonald followed up with the fifth try, crossing from close range after a couple of ball-dislodging tackles from O’Sullivan and Tom Roche.

Paul Graure led with the forearm in a carry and his protestations against the card turned it into a red. Ireland immediately took advantage, McNulty coming back against the grain from a tap penalty to send Tom Roche over.

Mark Roche converted and replacement Kearns also added the extras to his own try after Romania had fumbled the restart, giving the inrushing out-half a straightforward finish behind the posts.

The nippy Galvin took Ireland past the half-century mark in the final play, weaving over from the right wing after a neat switch move led by Mark Roche from a scrum.

England, also unbeaten across their first five fixtures in the Hungarian capital, ran an early penalty in the final. They built momentum for the experienced Tom Bowen to dummy his way over after just over a minute’s play.

It was seven-all midway through the first half, strong carrying from McDonald and Tom Roche getting Ireland up into the English 22 before Dardis used a switch move to send Sean Cribbin in under the posts.

A strong spell approaching half-time saw the men in green take a 21-7 lead, with their direct running again making metres. Tom Roche went close before Will Homer was binned for a deliberate knock-on.

In the same phase, O’Sullivan gobbled up the breaking ball to touch down and Dardis converted. A McDonald turnover penalty halted an English attack and Ireland punished them from the resulting lineout.

They fed Under-20 talent Mullins who darted out to the left, drew in a couple of defenders and offloaded brilliantly for O’Sullivan to finish out wide. Dardis converted with the aid of the post.

England flyer Joe Browning burst clear for a classy solo try from deep, setting up a grandstand finish with three minutes remaining, but Ireland had more in the tank as they replied with two more scores.

Newcomer Galvin slipped in between two defenders to scamper clear from halfway. Roche converted and also tagged on the extras to his own last-minute effort, a wily snipe from a scrum on the left wing.

IRELAND MEN’S SEVENS Squad (2022 Rugby Europe Sevens Trophy Series – Leg 2, Budapest, June 18-19, 2022):

Jordan Conroy (Buccaneers RFC)
Sean Cribbin (Suttonians RFC)
Billy Dardis (Terenure College RFC) (capt)
Sean Galvin (Lansdowne FC)
Fergus Jemphrey (Blackheath RFC/IQ Rugby)
Sean Kearns (Ireland Sevens)
Ed Kelly (Dublin University FC)
Matt McDonald (IQ Rugby)
Harry McNulty (UCD RFC)
Chay Mullins (IQ Rugby)
Aaron O’Sullivan (Blackrock College RFC)
Mark Roche (Lansdowne FC)
Tom Roche (Lansdowne FC)


Saturday, June 18 –


IRELAND 38 BULGARIA 0, Budapest Rugby Centre
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Tom Roche 2, Ed Kelly, Harry McNulty, Sean Galvin, Matt McDonald; Cons: Billy Dardis 3, Mark Roche
Bulgaria: –
HT: Ireland 12 Bulgaria 0

Team: Harry McNulty, Tom Roche, Matt McDonald, Billy Dardis (capt), Sean Kearns, Ed Kelly, Aaron O’Sullivan.

Subs used: Chay Mullins, Sean Galvin, Fergus Jemphrey, Mark Roche, Sean Cribbin.

IRELAND 57 SWEDEN 0, Budapest Rugby Centre
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Mark Roche, Fergus Jemphrey, Chay Mullins 3, Tom Roche, Matt McDonald, Billy Dardis, Ed Kelly; Cons: Sean Cribbin 3, Mark Roche, Sean Kearns 2
Sweden: –
HT: Ireland 31 Sweden 0

Team: Fergus Jemphrey, Tom Roche, Chay Mullins, Mark Roche, Sean Cribbin, Ed Kelly, Sean Galvin.

Subs used: Jordan Conroy, Matt McDonald, Sean Kearns, Billy Dardis (capt), Ed Kelly.

IRELAND 33 ISRAEL 7, Budapest Rugby Centre
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Aaron O’Sullivan, Mark Roche, Sean Kearns, Jordan Conroy, Fergus Jemphrey; Cons: Mark Roche 2, Sean Kearns, Billy Dardis
Israel: Try: Gal Aviram; Con: Vitalii Pryimak
HT: Ireland 26 Israel 0

Team: Harry McNulty, Fergus Jemphrey, Matt McDonald, Mark Roche, Sean Kearns, Aaron O’Sullivan, Jordan Conroy.

Subs used: Sean Cribbin, Billy Dardis (capt), Chay Mullins, Ed Kelly, Sean Galvin.

Rugby Europe Sevens Trophy Series – Budapest 7s Results

Rugby Europe Sevens Trophy Series – Budapest 7s Pool Tables

Day 1 Round-Up: Ireland Men To Face Croatia In Budapest 7s Quarter-Final

Sunday, June 19 –


IRELAND 57 CROATIA 0, Budapest Rugby Centre
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Chay Mullins 2, Aaron O’Sullivan 2, Sean Kearns, Ed Kelly 3, Fergus Jemphrey; Cons: Billy Dardis, Sean Kearns 3, Mark Roche, Ed Kelly
Croatia: –
HT: Ireland 33 Croatia 0

Team: Matt McDonald, Tom Roche, Chay Mullins, Billy Dardis (capt), Sean Kearns, Aaron O’Sullivan, Sean Galvin.

Subs used: Ed Kelly, Jordan Conroy, Fergus Jemphrey, Mark Roche.


IRELAND 54 ROMANIA 0, Budapest Rugby Centre
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Penalty try, Matt McDonald 2, Chay Mullins, Aaron O’Sullivan, Tom Roche, Sean Kearns, Sean Galvin; Cons: Pen try con, Billy Dardis 2, Mark Roche 2, Sean Kearns 2
Romania: –
HT: Ireland 21 Romania 0

Team: Harry McNulty, Matt McDonald, Fergus Jemphrey, Billy Dardis (capt), Sean Cribbin, Chay Mullins, Ed Kelly.

Subs used: Tom Roche, Mark Roche, Aaron O’Sullivan, Sean Kearns, Sean Galvin.


IRELAND 35 ENGLAND 14, Budapest Rugby Centre
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Sean Cribbin, Aaron O’Sullivan 2, Sean Galvin, Mark Roche; Cons: Billy Dardis 3, Mark Roche 2
England: Tries: Tom Bowen, Joe Browning; Cons: Tom Emery, Freddie Roddick
HT: Ireland 21 England 7

Team: Harry McNulty, Tom Roche, Matt McDonald, Billy Dardis (capt), Sean Cribbin, Chay Mullins, Aaron O’Sullivan.

Subs used: Sean Kearns, Mark Roche, Ed Kelly, Sean Galvin, Fergus Jemphrey.