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Ireland Men To Face Argentina in Dubai Quarter-Final

Ireland Men To Face Argentina in Dubai Quarter-Final

Ireland Men To Face Argentina in Dubai Quarter-Final

Jack Kelly tries to unlock the French defence during Ireland's final pool game at the Emirates Dubai 7s ©INPHO/Martin Seras Lima

The Ireland Men’s Sevens team (sponsored by TritonLake) will meet familiar rivals Argentina at the Cup quarter-final stage of the Emirates Dubai 7s tomorrow morning.

Ireland lost 14-7 to France in the Pool C decider, but did enough to hold off Spain for the runners-up spot. They advance on scoring difference, meaning they have now reached twelve quarter-finals at the last 13 World Series events.

It was a mixed bag of pool results, though, with the Spanish battling back for a last-gasp 21-all draw before James Topping’s men got the better of invitational team Uganda on a 33-15 scoreline.

Captained by Harry McNulty, Ireland had two tries each on day one from Jordan Conroy and Bryan Mollen, with Jack Kelly, Leinster’s Andrew Smith, Zac Ward, McNulty and Aaron O’Sullivan also getting over the line.

Returning to the Sevens Stadium at 10.28am local time/6.28am Irish time tomorrow, Ireland will be hoping for a repeat of their 21-17 victory over Argentina from the last leg in Hong Kong.

It was only twelve months ago in Dubai when the Pumas grabbed a late quarter-final winner to knock Ireland out of Cup contention. They returned to the desert venue today and posted wins over New Zealand (31-28) and Uruguay (49-0) before losing 17-12 to Fiji.

You can watch all the action as the Ireland Men compete at the Sevens Stadium, via the World Rugby Sevens Match Centre here.

Ireland had won their last two World Series matches against France, but les Bleus, the bronze medallists from Hong Kong last month, have been in good form of late and began their Dubai campaign by beating Uganda (10-7) and Spain (24-10).

Good work from the burly Dorian Laborde saw him draw in two defenders and unleash speedster Aaron Grandidier for a long-range first-minute try, which Marius Domon converted to give Ireland an immediate deficit to overcome.

Conroy was tackled into touch and Ireland could not take advantage of an overthrown French lineout. However, Smith knuckled down at the breakdown to win a key penalty with just over two minutes left in the opening half.

Kelly and Mollen made headway in the wide channels, combined with a penalty for offside, and Smith sniped up into the French 22. Lovely hands from Hugo Lennox almost saw Kelly muscle his way over in the left corner.

Topping’s charges managed to retain possession and from the next phase, Lennox fed Mollen who found enough of a gap between Laborde and Nisie Huyard to crash over. Mark Roche landed the levelling conversion from the left.

Tied at seven points apiece at the interval, France chipped away at the Irish defence and gained a platform from a couple of penalties. Marius Domon’s injection of pace took him over in the 10th minute, his conversion reopening the seven-point gap.

The Kelly brothers, Ed and Jack, had a couple of cuts at the French defence, but knock-ons thwarted both sides during a nervy conclusion to the game. Knowing the situation regarding scoring difference, Sean Cribbin kicked the ball dead from a final scrum.

IRELAND MEN’S SEVENS Squad (Emirates Dubai 7s, The Sevens Stadium, Dubai, December 2-3, 2022):

Niall Comerford (UCD RFC/Leinster)
Jordan Conroy (Buccaneers RFC)
Sean Cribbin (Suttonians RFC)
Sean Galvin (Lansdowne FC)
Ed Kelly (Dublin University FC)
Jack Kelly (Dublin University FC)
Hugo Lennox (Skerries RFC)
Harry McNulty (UCD RFC) (capt)
Bryan Mollen (UCD RFC)
Aaron O’Sullivan (UCD RFC)
Mark Roche (Lansdowne FC)
Andrew Smith (Clontarf FC/Leinster)
Zac Ward (Ballynahinch RFC)

IRELAND SEVENS Schedule – Emirates Dubai 7s:

Friday, December 2 –


IRELAND 21 SPAIN 21, The Sevens Stadium Pitch 2
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Jack Kelly, Andrew Smith, Jordan Conroy; Cons: Mark Roche, Hugo Lennox 2
Spain: Tries: Eduardo Lopez, Alejandro Laforga, Aratz Goicoechea; Cons: Juan Martinez 3
HT: Ireland 0 Spain 14

Team: Harry McNulty (capt), Aaron O’Sullivan, Andrew Smith, Mark Roche, Sean Cribbin, Ed Kelly, Jordan Conroy.

Subs used: Hugo Lennox, Jack Kelly, Bryan Mollen, Niall Comerford, Zac Ward.

IRELAND 33 UGANDA 15, The Sevens Stadium
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Zac Ward, Jordan Conroy, Harry McNulty, Bryan Mollen, Aaron O’Sullivan; Cons: Mark Roche 3, Hugo Lennox
Uganda: Tries: Denis Etwau 3
HT: Ireland 14 Uganda 10

Day 1 Round-Up: Ireland Men Set Up Dubai Pool Decider Against France

Team: Harry McNulty (capt), Jack Kelly, Zac Ward, Mark Roche, Niall Comerford, Bryan Mollen, Jordan Conroy.

Subs used: Sean Cribbin, Andrew Smith, Hugo Lennox, Aaron O’Sullivan, Ed Kelly.

FRANCE 14 IRELAND 7, The Sevens Stadium
Scorers: France: Tries: Aaron Grandidier, Marius Domon; Cons: Marius Domon, Rayan Rebbadj
Ireland: Try: Bryan Mollen; Con: Mark Roche
HT: France 7 Ireland 7

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

Subs used: Aaron O’Sullivan, Sean Cribbin, Ed Kelly. Not used: Niall Comerford, Zac Ward.

Saturday, December 3 –


ARGENTINA v IRELAND, The Sevens Stadium, 10.28am local time/6.28am Irish time