Ireland fell to a narrow 31-26 defeat in the final of the Moscow 7s in the Rugby Europe Men’s 7s Grand Prix Series.
Anthony Eddy’s side came into this final after securing wins over Spain and Germany in the quarter-final and semi-final, respectively.
Although Ireland have qualified for next year’s HSBC Sevens World Series, there was added motivation at this tournament as it impacts the seeding for next month’s European Olympic qualification in Colombiers, France. At next month’s tournament, there is only one Olympic spot on offer.
Ireland began the game well when they put France into touch during their first attack. But Ireland knocked the ball on at a ruck after the resulting lineout.
Unfortunately for Eddy’s side, they would rue that mistake as from the resulting scrum, France put the ball through the hands and produced a linebreak to score the first try of the game which was unconverted.
From the kick-off, Ireland failed to resource a ruck and quick turnover possession for France resulted in another try which was converted this time by Jean Pascal Barraque.
Ireland were under pressure once again but a French knock-on gave possession back to Eddy’s side and from this passage of play, they got their first try of the game.
The ball was sent wide to Jordan Conroy and he used his scintillating pace to race downfield to dot down under the posts.
Just before halftime, France hit back with a breakaway try of their own through Marvin O’Connor.
With the clock in the red, Ireland knew they needed another try if they were to have an opportunity of winning the game in the second half and some lovely handling produced another try for Conroy who raced down the far touchline to touch down under the posts.
France defeat Ireland 31-26 to claim the Moscow 7s title.
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) June 23, 2019
At the beginning of the second half, a beautiful offload from Munster’s Shane Daly saw Dardis race clear to get Ireland’s third try of the game which gave his side a narrow two-point lead.
Ireland’s kick-off after that try didn’t go 10 metres and they were made to pay when the French went over in the corner after a number of phases. A superb touchline conversion gave France a five-point lead with just over two minutes remaining.
The next try would prove crucial and it came the way of the French as Pierre Mignot scored in the corner to stretch out the lead to 10 points.
Despite the hooter sounding to signal regular time had elapsed, Ireland battled on to secure a consolation try to ultimately fall to a 31-26 defeat.