HomeRacing irishIreland Men's Rugby Sevens set for Semi-finals on Tuesday

Ireland Men’s Rugby Sevens set for Semi-finals on Tuesday

Ireland advanced to the semi-finals of the Men’s Rugby Sevens at the European Games after a 26-12 victory over Belgium in Krakow this evening.

After initially going behind, James Topping’s side stepped it up a gear in the second half to comfortably progress to the last four. Belgium got the opening scores of the game before patient build-up from the Irish saw Dylan O’Grady score a try under the posts to level the game. Terry Kennedy’s try which was converted by Mark Roche gave Ireland a seven point lead at the interval.

Liam McNamara scored an impressive second half double of tries to push Ireland further clear, with Roche converting one of his attempts. Belgium fought on bravely and managed to score one more try however it was too little too late at that stage.

Ireland’s Jordan Conroy gave his reaction after the encounter; “It’s always a little bit nerve wracking, every team is going to bring their A game, so we have to bring our best. I think we’re still building to day three so there’s more to come,” he said.

Ireland play Portugal in tomorrow’s semi-final at lunchtime (12:58pm Irish time). The Portuguese easily saw off Georgia in their last eight game.

Current World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year Ireland’s Terry Kennedy looked ahead to that game; “We’ve played them plenty of times before. I mean they’re a really tough team with different strengths so they’ll challenge us, so we’re going to have to be at our best to make sure we come through again.”

Having not been able to travel to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics a large Irish contingent were vocal in the stands. The prospect of those supporters getting to see the side play at the Olympics in Paris next year is serving as motivation for the team.

“We want to do it for them as much as ourselves,” Conroy said.

The final, should they progress, is pencilled in for 8:35pm Irish Time tomorrow evening. A place at the Olympics is the ultimate prize for the winners.

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