Ireland win Hong Kong 7’s qualifier series to gain top tier status.

Ireland men’s 7s team overcame host nation Hong Kong by 28-7 in this morning World Rugby 7s qualification series final. Tries from Harry McNulty, Gregory O’Shea, Jordan Conroy (his tenth of the tournament) and Terry Kennedy gave Anthony Eddy’s side a long-awaited ticket to next season’s top tier tournament.

On the pitch straight after the game Ireland’s captain, Billy Dardis said “We’re just delighted with this. It’s been a long hard road. I think that we all stood on the pitch there and couldn’t move. We’re just speechless. It’s class! It won’t sink in for a couple of weeks.” 

Ireland’s tournament started on Friday with two of their three pool F games. The overcame Jamaica 26-0 in their pool opener thanks to two tries from Foster Horan and one apiece from Jordan Conroy and John O’Donnell. A few hours later in their second game, they were coasting 26-7 at half time against Uruguay after a Terry Kennedy hat-trick and a Jordan Conroy try. However, they eased up and took their foot off the gas in the second half and were lucky to escape with a 26-26 draw after Tomas Ubilla missed a conversion in front of the posts for the win.

Saturday’s action saw Ireland coast to a 33-7 win over a much vaunted Russian side. Jordan Conroy was the star of the show this time with a trio of tries. Adam Leavy and Gregory O’Shea also dotted down. Thanks to the vagaries of the pool seedings they faced the Russians for a second time on Saturday in the quarter-finals. This time the result was even more emphatic and Ireland triumphed 47-0. Two more tries from Conroy brought his tally against the Russians to five for the day and Terry Kennedy and Gregory O’Shea both added a brace, with Harry McNulty also crossing the whitewash.

Quarter final highlights

This mornings semi-final saw them face their toughest opposition in the pre-tournament favourites Germany. It was a tough battle and Ireland trailed 5-10 going into the last two minutes. Captain Billy Dardis was the hero as his try and monster conversion pushed the Irish into a 12-10 lead. From the restart Jordan Conroy Added another try to add some gloss to 19-10 scoreline in favour of Anthony Eddy’s men.

 

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