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Ireland slip to narrow defeat in first game as a core team on the World 7s Series

Tries from Terry Kennedy, Jack Kelly, and Aaron O’Sullivan weren’t enough against the US.

IRELAND MEN’S 7S have opened their account on the 2019/20 World Rugby Sevens Series with a narrow defeat to the USA at the Dubai 7s.

Anthony Eddy’s men were handed a tough task in their first game as a core team on the circuit, with the US having finished as runners-up in the Series last season.

Ireland slipped to a 24-19 defeat, with a late rally on the scoreboard proving too little in the end.

ireland-terry-kennedy Terry Kennedy scored in Ireland's defeat [file photo]. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Leinster academy back Aaron O’Sullivan’s converted try sent Ireland 7-5 in front as they responded to Carlin Isles’ early score for the US, but the Americans dotted down through Danny Barrett and Perry Baker either side of the break before Barrett notched his second to leave his side 24-5 ahead.

Ireland did, however, produce tries through former Leinster and Ireland U20s flyer Terry Kennedy and ex-Leinster fullback Jack Kelly in the closing minutes of the contest to finish with five points of the US.

Ireland’s next clash in Pool B sees them face Australia at 7.58am Irish time on Friday morning, with a fixture versus Scotland following at 1.50pm tomorrow. The play-offs take place on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Ireland Women’s 7s also suffered a narrow defeat in their opening tie in Dubai as they lost 12-10 to Spain in agonising fashion earlier.

Unconverted tries from Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe and Kathy Baker had seen Ireland race 10-0 in front early on, but the Spanish drew one back in the seventh minute and then produced a final-gasp try that Patricia Garcia converted to deny Stan McDowall’s women a share of the spoils.

Ireland also face Australia next, with their Pool B clash taking place at 5.22am Irish time on Friday before a game against Fiji at 10.12am. Again, the play-offs take place on Saturday.

Elsewhere, the Ireland men’s 7s development squad started their campaign in the Dubai Invitational Tournament with a 33-7 defeat to their French counterparts before losing on the same scoreline to the Samurai Zastava team. 

The Irish squad, featuring Ulster academy prospect Aaron Sexton and Ireland U20 star Liam Turner, take on the Olorun Ponty Butchers tomorrow in their next game.

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The women’s development squad opened their account with a 33-5 win against Thursday Night Lights, before being beaten 38-0 by Japan’s development squad. Tomorrow’s fixtures see them face Russia and Phoenix Rugby.

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Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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