A ruthless second-half performance from Ireland saw them score 31 unanswered points en route to a 43-12 victory over Scotland at the London 7s.
The result had Ireland within touching distance of the quarter-finals. They needed New Zealand to beat England or at least for New Zealand to lose by less than 10 points. To the relief of Anthony Eddy and his players, England could only manage a 17-12 victory.
Ireland scored their first try with just 20 seconds on the clock. Billy Dardis spotted a gap and sent a looping pass to Jordon Conroy who used his incredible pace to get around the outside and touch down.
Ireland’s second try was all about Conroy once again as he produced a try-saving tackle on Alec Coombes. The ball spilled out of the resulting ruck and Harry McNulty latched on to it to break down field. McNulty passed to Conroy who put on the afterburners before sending a looping ball back to McNulty who touched down under the posts.
Scotland hit back immediately as Ireland got disconnected in defence and Max McFarland used his superb pace to step inside the fringe Irish defender to run in under the posts.
Glenn Bryce then touched down for Scotland in the corner just before halftime to leave the sides level at 12-12 at the break.
Ireland took the lead at the beginning of the second-half when Conroy ran a superb line as he collected the ball at pace and burst through a gap in the Scottish defence to ground the ball between the sticks.
Conroy completed his hattrick when he received the ball out wide but despite Scotland having some defenders in situ, the flying winger used his pace to get around the fringes to score in the corner.
Ireland kept the pressure on as they scored immediately from the kick-off when McNulty competed in the air which saw the ball fall to Ian Fitzpatrick and the 24-year-old had a clear path to the try line which gave Ireland a 31-12 lead.
Jack Kelly and Mick McGrath rounded off what was a superb performance for Ireland by scoring their side’s sixth and seventh tries in the closing moments.