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Ireland beat England at Twickenham again, but can't keep lid on New Zealand

Mick McGrath helped Ireland to a 21-17 win over England in their own back yard.

Updated 3pm

MICK MCGRATH’S QUICK thinking at Twickenham handed Ireland an opening-game victory over England at the London 7s.

Ireland, again an invitational side at the event after last year’s bronze, snatched victory with 30 seconds to play to secure a 21-17 win over their nearest rivals before succumbing to the class of New Zealand, 34-7, in their second pool match.

IMG_6197 Mick McGrath scores the winner for Ireland.

To beat England, McGrath took the ball from a ruck and streaked clear of the defence, crossing in the final seconds to open up the four-point advantage.

The Boys in Green gave the ball back from the restart as the clock ticked into the red and were forced to hold on to grind out an opening win of the afternoon.

James Rodwell was among the scorers for the home side, but England were left to rue missed conversions on their second and third tries of the game.

Ian Fitzpatrick opened the scoring for Ireland in the opening three minutes of play, with Bryan Mollen also crossing on nine minutes.

New Zealand proved far tougher opposition for Ireland to come to terms with and Terry Kennedy was on the wrong end of a vicious fending effort from Tone Ng Shu as he batted the defender away three times on his way over the try-line.

Kennedy was responsible for Ireland’s best chance of the first-half as he broke through the middle off a scrum, but the supporting line of the electric Jordan Conroy was well-marshalled and the cover defence stopped Kennedy’s advance.

IMG_6409 Source: IRFU

Kiwi dominance was rubber-stamped as Andrew Knewstubbed crashed over the line to give the black jerseys a 12-0 half-time lead and they built on that with two tries from Regan Ware, a second from Knewstubb and one from Dylan Colier.

It was from the restart after Collier’s try that Ireland created their best moment of the match, reducing the gap to 22-7 as Harry McNulty grabbed a restart and slipped Bryan Mollen away on a 60 metre sprint for the posts.

Ireland will close out the day’s action against Scotland at 5.54pm. You can keep up to date with all of the day’s live action here.

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