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Five-try Ireland show Wales a clean pair of heels to reach Sevens World Cup Challenge final

Ireland will face Australia at 00:08 Irish time.

Image: Inpho/Billy Stickland

THE IRELAND MEN’S sevens team have qualified for the World Cup Challenge final after beating Wales 27-12 at the AT&T Stadium in San Francisco.

Ireland will face Australia in the final, with kick-off at 00:08 Irish time.

Two tries from skipper Billy Dardis and one each from Hugo Keenan, Jordan Conroy and Shane Daly saw Ireland earn their second victory over a World Series core team this weekend – yesterday’s 24-14 dismissal of Kenya in the last eight being their first.

In the other semi-final, Australia beat Canada 19-7.

Dardis put Keenan over with a sumptuous floated pass after just two minutes, but was off-target with his subsequent conversion.

He then pounced with his own sublime solo score, slicing through the Welsh rearguard and handing off Luke Treharne before dotting down.

A Luke Morgan effort from behind halfway dragged Wales back into proceedings near the break.

Ireland’s Harry McNulty with Hugo Keenan Source: Inpho/Billy Stickland

Ireland responded well after the interval, however, with Dardis applying the finishing touch to a lung-busting and intricate team move. On this occasion his conversion was spot on, and Ireland had some breathing space.

Afon Bagshaw took one home for the Welsh to offer a sliver of hope, but a searing score down the left flank by Conroy, and Daly’s icing on top, booked Ireland a spot in the Challenge decider.

Ireland: Harry McNulty, Ian Fitzpatrick, John O’Donnell, Billy Dardis (capt), Hugo Keenan, Jimmy O’Brien, Jordan Conroy.

Replacements used: Foster Horan, Shane Daly, Terry Kennedy, Greg O’Shea.

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