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Ireland Stun England In Opening Round Of London 7s

Ireland Sevens

Ireland have defeated England 21-17 in the opening round of the London 7s to get their tournament off to a brilliant start. 

Anthony Eddy’s men are taking part in this World Series event as an invitational side and this performance shows that they will be able to compete among the best when they are on the circuit full-time next season after clinching qualification at the Hong Kong 7s in April.

It was nip and tuck in the first half as both sides traded tries. Ireland scored after three minutes through Ian Fitzpatrick before England’s Ryan Olowofela levelled the game with a try of his own on five minutes. 

Entering the second half, the teams were tied 7-7 but it was through the quick thinking of Terry Kennedy which saw Ireland take the lead.

Kennedy saw an opportunity and he quick-tapped a penalty which saw him run almost parallel across the pitch but crucially, he committed the fringe defender which allowed him to offload to Bryan Mollen who ran clear to touch down in the corner. Billy Dardis converted to give Ireland a 14-7 lead.

England hit back almost immediately with a try from Tom Bowen in the corner where he beat Jordan Conroy for pace. They failed to convert the try so Ireland still had a narrow two-point lead.

However, England went ahead when they scored through James Rodwell. Conroy knocked the ball on in midfield under little pressure and the ball was sent wide to Rodwell who was able to fend off Dardis to generate a clear run to the try line.

Ireland looked down and out but they got the game-winning score when Mick McGrath sold a superb dummy to fire through a gap. He produced a fantastic handoff to get himself clear of Oliver Lindsay-Hague before dotting down to just left of the posts.

With the clock in the red, England had one more opportunity to clinch victory but Ireland held out by winning a turnover on the deck to secure a famous win.

Next up for Ireland is a clash with New Zealand at 2.48 pm.

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Author: Sean McMahon

Sean is Deputy Editor and head rugby writer. You can contact him by email [email protected] or on Twitter