The Ireland men’s sevens team have won the Challenge Trophy at the Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament in San Francisco with a 24-14 win over Australia.
Billy Dardis crossed the line to get Ireland’s opening try, before Jimmy O’Brien, Terry Kennedy and Greg O’Shea all added further tries to the scoreboard at AT&T Park. The Sevens side coached by Stan McDowell were one of the tournaments leading try scorer’s accumulating 17 tries across the 3 days, four of these came from Billy Dardis, while another four came from Jordan Conway.
The victory looked more impressive than the scoreline suggests considering Ireland lost Conway to a head injury in this game, Bryan Mollen was also sidelined with an ankle injury for most of the tournament also. Ireland finished the tournament 9th overall, with New Zealand the winners for a third time beating England comprehensively 33-12. New Zealand were in control from the get go in that game as they got a try inside the opening minute courtesy of Sione Miola which was expertly converted by Kurt Baker. Molia then got a second try and that was subsequently converted by Baker to give the All-Black at 14-0 lead. England did get a try back on the board through Mike Ellery but New Zealand always looked in control to be fair. They closed out the game in style with Rokolisa and Joass both getting tries either side of a tries from England’s Ruaidhri McConnochie and New Zealand’s Joe Ravouvou.
South Africa won the Bronze medal after they defeated Fiji 24-19 in an entertaining contest.