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Ireland Through To Challenge Trophy Final After Win Over Australia

Ireland sevens are through to the Challenge Trophy final at the Paris 7s thanks to their semi-final win over Australia this afternoon. 

Ireland started off their second day with a win over Scotland this morning to set-up a clash with Australia and they overcame their opponents 24-17 to set up a Challenge Cup final clash with either Canada or England.

Anthony Eddy’s side got off to a difficult start in their match with Australia, however. Ireland went down to six men when they were penalised for a neck roll.

In that time, Australia pounced as they scored two tries through Matthew Hood and Ben O’Donnell to give themselves an early 10-0 lead.

Ireland’s inability to reclaim restarts proved problematic but they finally got their hands on the ball when Australia knocked on in midfield.

In Ireland’s first real period of possession, they hit back when Jack Kelly produced a superb solo effort to break through numerous tackles to touch down under the posts.

Just on the cusp of halftime, Ireland took the lead when Bryan Mollen received a lovely flat pass off a lineout setpiece to break through the Australia defence to touch down to the right of posts. Billy Dardis was unsuccessful with the conversion attempt so Ireland had a 12-10 lead at halftime.

Ireland produced a much more solid second half showing with Harry McNulty’s work at the breakdown proving difficult to handle for the Australians.

Ian Fitzpatrick extended Ireland’s lead to 19-10 before some excellent footwork from O’Donnell allowed him to send a cutting pass to Joe Pincus who touched down under the posts to leave just two points between the sides.

However, Ireland got the game-winning try when Kelly secured his brace on the next phase of play to extend Ireland’s advantage to 24-17 with just 40 seconds to play.

Eddy’s side managed to hold onto the ball and kick it dead with the clock in the red to set up a meeting with Canada or England in the Challenge Trophy final.

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