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Ireland Men Start LA 7s Campaign With Three-Try Victory

Ireland Men Start LA 7s Campaign With Three-Try Victory

Ireland Men Start LA 7s Campaign With Three-Try Victory

Connor O'Sullivan was Ireland's opening try scorer against South Africa in their Pool A clash in Los Angeles ©INPHO/Travis Prior

A Connor O’Sullivan try after just 10 seconds put the Ireland Men’s Sevens team (sponsored by TritonLake) on course for a well-executed 17-0 win over South Africa at the HSBC SVNS Series leg in Los Angeles.

Zac Ward added a brace of first half tries, taking his season’s haul to 15, as Ireland, sitting second in the overall standings, joined SVNS Series leaders Argentina on three points at the top of Pool A.

It is the first time in SVNS Series history that the Ireland Men, captained by Harry McNulty, have beaten the Blitzboks three times in a row. Last week’s 22-10 victory in Vancouver secured a Cup quarter-final place, while they also triumphed 14-12 in a pool game in Cape Town back in December.

James Topping’s charges will look to take a step closer to a quarter-final berth in Los Angeles later, when they play Spain at 6.14pm Irish time (live on RugbyPass TV). Their final round encounter with Argentina is at 11.06pm Irish time.

South Africa were left stunned by Ireland’s flying start as Justin Geduld, having taken down Ed Kelly’s kick-off, was stripped of possession by O’Sullivan who gobbled up the loose ball and scampered over from 28 metres out.

Kelly made it a full seven-pointer before Gavin Mullin covered a kick over the top from Shilton van Wyk. With a stranglehold on possession, McNulty charged menacingly towards the posts, before Sean Cribbin jinked back to the left where Mullin put Ward over in the corner.

12-0 became 17-0 by the end of the first half, with Geduld losing the ball forward in a tackle from Ward. Over 20 passes later, and following penetrating runs from Kelly and O’Sullivan, Jordan Conroy tied up the defence and fed Ward to barge over, out wide, past van Wyk.

Ward was full of running early on the resumption as well, but the Blitzboks did have opportunities to strike back. Selvyn Davids and Ryan Oosthuizen uncharacteristically blew an overlap, with the chasing O’Sullivan getting the defensive plaudits.

The Dubai champions from earlier in the season continued to concede penalties which allowed Ireland to dictate the pace of the match. They remained scoreless with Impi Visser having a try ruled out for creeping offside initially.

The Irish bench was emptied during the final few minutes, and a fresh Terry Kennedy posed problems for the South African defence with a sniping run, and then a kick chase down into the opposition 22.

Mullin also broke into some space near the left touchline, via Billy Dardis’ inviting pass. South Africa held firm but even when they raided back towards halfway, Chay Mullins followed up on McNulty’s well-timed tackle to gain a penalty at the breakdown which clinched the result.

You can watch all of the HSBC SVNS Series matches for free on RugbyPass TV, while there will be coverage of Ireland’s progress in California across the new @Ireland7s social media channels, and in our Ireland Sevens hub: irishrugby.ie/ireland7s.

IRELAND MEN’S SEVENS Squad (HSBC SVNS Series – Los Angeles 7s, Dignity Health Sports Park, Los Angeles, Friday, March 1-Sunday, March 3, 2024):

Niall Comerford (UCD RFC)
Jordan Conroy (Buccaneers RFC)
Sean Cribbin (Suttonians RFC)
Billy Dardis (Terenure College RFC)
Ed Kelly (Dublin University FC)
Terry Kennedy (St. Mary’s College RFC)
Mark Roche (Lansdowne FC)
Matthew McDonald (Ireland Sevens)
Harry McNulty (UCD RFC) (capt)
Gavin Mullin (UCD RFC)
Chay Mullins (Galway Corinthians RFC/Connacht/IQ Rugby)
Connor O’Sullivan (Lansdowne FC)
Zac Ward (Ballynahinch RFC)

IRELAND MEN’S SEVENS Schedule – HSBC SVNS Series – Los Angeles:

Friday, March 1 –


IRELAND 17 SOUTH AFRICA 0, Dignity Health Sports Park
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Connor O’Sullivan, Zac Ward 2; Con: Ed Kelly
South Africa: –
HT: Ireland 17 South Africa 0

Team: Zac Ward, Connor O’Sullivan, Harry McNulty (capt), Ed Kelly, Sean Cribbin, Gavin Mullin, Jordan Conroy.

Replacements used: Billy Dardis, Matthew McDonald, Terry Kennedy, Niall Comerford, Chay Mullins.

Saturday, March 2 –


IRELAND v SPAIN, Dignity Health Sports Park, 10.14am local time/6.14pm Irish time

ARGENTINA v IRELAND, Dignity Health Sports Park, 3.06pm local time/11.06pm Irish time


Sunday, March 3 –