With the Women’s and the Men’s Competition overlapping on Day 2 of the Paris Sevens we had the opportunity to catch up with the Ireland Men’s Sevens side as they competed as an invited team in their second HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournament.
The arrival of the men of Day 2 certainly brought in the crowds, with the exuberant supporters from Kenya bringing a particularly festive feel to proceedings. The atmosphere and the noise ratched up a couple of levels but with the rugby running from 9:00 am to 10:30 pm it made for a long, long day – so many matches to cover!
We did manage to cover two of the Ireland men’s matches and they looked pretty impressive, despite being comparative novices compared to the core teams and they remained unbeaten in the pool stages. Here’s our report and pictures.
Off the back of a superb showing in London the week before, Ireland Men went into the Paris Sevens leg with confidence but were unable to match their finish of third place in London despite a positive start.
Ireland opened with a very good 14-5 win over an impressive Spanish side. Spain took the lead at half time through Pol Pla but Ireland managed to rescue the game in the second half with tries from Bryan Mollen and Jordan Conroy. This was a crucial victory as Spain defeated Australia in their second match.
Jordan Conroy got Ireland off to a great start in their second match with a try after two minutes but Wales responded thanks to Luke Treharne. Bryan Mollen gave Ireland the lead at the break but this was cancelled out immediately after the restart through Luke Morgan. Terry Kennedy scored Ireland’s third try but Adam Thomas equalised leaving the scores tied at 19-19 at full time.
The FRU Caught up with Jordan Conroy after the Wales game.
In Ireland’s final pool game they defeated Australia 24-14. Terry Kennedy cancelled out an early Lewis Holland score while a Mark Roche brace either side of the interval gave Ireland a 19-7 lead. Maurice Longbottom gave Australia hope but this was dashed as Adam Leavy scored with a minute left, confirming Ireland’s spot in the Cup quarter finals.
Ireland were edged out of the quarter finals by Canada. Nathan Hirayama scored after two minutes and Pat Kay added a second. Jordan Conroy got Ireland on the board shortly before the break but Harry Jones put the game beyond reach early in the second half.
Another loss followed in the 5th place semi final to Fiji. Amenoni Nasilasila scored his side’s first try before Adam Leavy got Ireland on the board. Paula Dranisinukula gave his side a 12-5 at the break and they didn’t look back in the second half. Alasio Sovita Naduva got the third before Dranisinukula added his second to put the game beyond Ireland’s reach with five minutes to play. Jerry Tuwai and Waisea Nacuqu rounded off the scoring leaving it 38-5 at full time.
After the tournament Bryan Mollen commented on Ireland’s performance over the last few weeks.
Paris was a great tournament. Just like London it was a great experience to finally get to test ourselves against the top teams in the world. We learnt a lot and playing in the World Series has given us motivation to get on the Series full time.
We’ve a big few weeks ahead with Rugby Europe tournaments in Marcoussis and Exeter which are really important for our main goal for the future which is qualification for Hong kong for 2019.
These two tournaments in Europe will give us good preparation in the lead up to the World Cup, where hopefully we can really show what we are capable of.
We have learnt and experienced so much recently, and our squad feels in a really good place, so we are just looking to build on what we have achieved and let that drive us to become better and better in the future.
Ireland Men’s Sevens remaining competitions this season are:
- Rugby Europe Sevens Grand Prix Series, Marcoussis (30th June – 1st July)
- Mitsubishi Motors Exeter 7s (7th – 8th July)
- 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens, San Francisco (20th – 22nd July)
View all our Paris Men’s Sevens Galleries below. Photo credit Beth Cregan.