Ireland have officially finished third at the London 7s World Series event at Twickenham.
Anthony Eddy’s side have been making waves all weekend as they put in performances which far surpassed what was expected of an invitational side.
Ireland, of course, do not compete in the World Series but participated this weekend as an invitational side which gave them the opportunity to pit themselves against the best 7s teams in the world.
Ireland beat England in the bronze final on a dramatic scoreline of 21-19 thanks to Jordan Conroy’s late try and Mark Roche’s excellent touchline conversion.
The underdogs went 7-0 up as Conroy got around the dangerous Dan Norton to get Ireland off to a blistering start. England had an excellent opportunity to hit back as the men in green were penalised for being off their feet at the ruck. Inexplicably, Norton decided to grubber kick which led to Ireland getting the ball back. They shifted the ball wide to Conroy and like he has done so often this weekend, the speedster ran the length of the field to give Ireland a 14-0 lead.
Taiye Ryan Olowofela hit back immediately as he broke through the Irish defence and offloaded to Dan Bibby who ran over for England’s first try. James Rodwell was the next English player to make an impact as a physical and powerful carry sucked in Irish defenders before a flat pass to Bibby guaranteed his second try of the game and just a two-point deficit at halftime for the favourited England team.
The second-half was a much more cagey affair as both sides showed the effects of an exhausting weekend. England’s Ethan Waddleton made a superb break through the heart of Ireland’s defensive line. This ultimately led to a try as a desperately backtracking Ireland defence failed to deal with the pace of Norton who gave England a 19-14 lead with just minutes remaining.
An English player off his feet gave Ireland an opportunity to set up a lineout setpiece on the halfway line. Although the ball was just about secured, the execution out the backline was flawless. Quick ball to Conroy guaranteed another touchline sprint and resulting try which the excellent Mark Roche converted to give Ireland a historic 19-21 victory.
— World Rugby Sevens (@WorldRugby7s) June 3, 2018