Ireland finished off their London 7s campaign with a 35-14 loss to New Zealand at Twickenham this afternoon.
The match was played to decide who would finish in fifth place overall but just like in the pool stages, Ireland struggled with the pace and footwork of their Kiwi counterparts.
Overall, it was an incredibly positive tournament for Ireland who defied expectations by getting through to the last eight after wins on Saturday over England and Scotland.
They lost narrowly to Fiji in the quarter-final on Sunday before guaranteeing a clash with New Zealand after cruising past Canada.
Ireland will take part as an invitational side again at the Paris 7s next weekend which again provides excellent preparation for Olympic qualification later in the summer.
Ireland got off to a great start by taking the lead with a superbly worked try. Harry McNulty and Terry Kennedy showed some excellent handling skills which resulted in the latter crossing the line to get Ireland’s first try of the game and credit must go to the powerful Mick McGrath whose dominant carry generated the initial momentum.
Ireland finish in 6th Place overall in London, losing the 5th Place Play-off 35-14 to @AllBlacks7s.
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) May 26, 2019
New Zealand hit back almost immediately through the formidable Tone Ng Shiu despite the best efforts of a tackle from McGrath. Their second try soon followed and it was a piece of magic from Joe Ravouvou who dumbfounded the Irish defence with some magic footwork to put his side into a 14-7 halftime lead.
Early in the second half, it was Ireland’s turn to produce some superb footwork and it came in the shape of Billy Dardis who exposed some space around the breakdown to scamper clear. He was tackled just short of the line but managed to reach out and ground the ball. After receiving some treatment, he notched the conversion to get the match back to 14-14.
Some excellent counter-rucking from New Zealand saw them win turnover possession and they spread the ball wide to Ravouvou who put on the afterburners to put his side back into a seven-point lead. It soon became 14 when Ng Shiu powered through a last-ditch tackle attempt to ground the ball under the posts.
Regan Ware rounded off the match with a final breakaway try to win out against Ireland on a final scoreline of 35-14.