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Ireland Teams Celebrate Success At RWC Sevens

23rd July 2018 By The Editor

Ireland Men's Sevens celebrate winning the Challenge Cup at the Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco

Ireland Men's Sevens celebrate winning the Challenge Cup at the Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

It was a hugely successful weekend for the Irish Sevens teams with Ireland Men’s Sevens lifting the Challenge Trophy and Ireland Women’s Sevens securing their best ever finish of sixth overall at the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco, while the Ireland U18 Women’s Sevens squad won the Home Nations Decider in Birmingham.

The Ireland Men’s Sevens team overcame Australia 24-14 in the Challenge Trophy final with Shannon’s Greg O’Shea contributing to the scoring alongside captain Billy Dardis, Jimmy O’Brien and Terry Kennedy.

The squad, which also included Greencore Munster Academy and Cork Con centre, Shane Daly, overturned another fancied World Series outfit in front of the vocal and colourful contingent of Irish fans inside AT&T Park with four tries to Australia’s two.

Stan McDowell’s charges were one of the tournament’s leading try scorers with 17 across the three days, including four each from talismanic skipper Dardis and speed merchant Jordan Conroy.

The result completed a weekend to remember for the IRFU Sevens Programme on the global stage as the Ireland Men’s team claimed the Challenge silverware and ninth place overall – a huge achievement for an ambitious young squad currently not on the World Series and who came into the World Cup as the 16th seeds of the 24 qualified nations.

Rugby World Cup Sevens San Francisco 2018 Final Day AT&T Park San Francisco 22/7/2018 Challenge Cup Final Ireland vs Australia Ireland's Greg O'Shea scores a try Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Photosport/Andrew Cornaga

Shannon’s Greg O’Shea scores a try against Australia

The Ireland Women’s Sevens team recorded their best ever Rugby World Cup Sevens finish of sixth overall after losing out to Spain in a hard-fought play-off.

Munster’s Aoife Doyle, Louise Galvin, Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe, Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird and Cork’s Audrey O’Flynn all played a key part in the squad’s historic campaign.

Teresa Bueso Gonez’s try just past the final hooter saw Spain prevail 12-7 in another one-score shootout between these closely-matched sides. The injury-enforced absence of Murphy Crowe (hamstring) was keenly felt by Ireland, whose failure to turn a couple of dominant first half spells into tries proved crucial in the end.

Despite the last-gasp defeat, captain Lucy Mulhall and her team-mates can still take plenty of pride from their performances at AT&T Park, carving out their own piece of history with that hard-earned top-six standing, a Cup quarter-final appearance against eventual champions New Zealand, and wins over two teams ranked higher than them in the World Series – England and Russia.

Rugby World Cup Sevens San Francisco 2018 Day 2 AT&T park San Francisco 21/7/2018 Ireland vs Russia Ireland's Louise Galvin Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

UL Bohemian’s Louise Galvin in action against Russia

From San Francisco to Birmingham, Ireland Sevens teams represented the country with distinction over the weekend and that was very much the case with the undefeated U18 Women’s Sevens side who were crowned overall Home Nations Series champions.

The University of Birmingham was the venue for the second and final leg of the inaugural U18 Women’s Home Nations Sevens Series, with Carrick On Suir’s Maggie Boylan and Fethard’s Dorothy Wall looking to keep up their form from the opening tournament in Edinburgh two weeks ago.

Coached by Adam Griggs and managed by Elaine Ryan, the girls in green excelled again to take their winning streak to 10 matches and underline their dominance of the competition. They came from 17-5 down at half-time to overhaul Wales late on in a fiercely-contested opener in Birmingham, and also held off a strong second half comeback from hosts England to win the final 28-19.

It was Ireland’s well-honed skills, composure on both sides of the ball and eye for the try-line which marked them out as the leading team. They chalked up 23 tries during their five games in the West Midlands, just one less than their Edinburgh tally.

A victorious Ireland U18 Women’s Sevens squad

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