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Ireland 7s notch first win over mighty Fiji as they advance into quarter-finals

James Topping’s side notched a historic victory on their way through the pool stages.

Jordan Conroy was in try-scoring form on his return for Ireland [file photo].
Jordan Conroy was in try-scoring form on his return for Ireland [file photo].
Image: Manuel Blondeau/INPHO

THE IRELAND MEN’S 7s team notched their first-ever win over Fiji on the World Series as they earned a spot in tomorrow’s Cup quarter-finals in Singapore where they will take on the USA.

James Topping’s men started their tournament with a brilliant 21-12 victory over the Fijians, who are 7s powerhouses and the double Olympic champions.

Ireland took an early lead thanks to a sharp finish from Jordan Conroy, who was returning after his appearances on the Dancing With The Stars TV show in recent months.

Ireland then produced a superb team score as Terry Kennedy, Conroy, captain Billy Dardis, and Hugo Lennox combined to send Conroy away for his second score.

The Flying Fijians struck twice to bring them back to within two points of Ireland but the ever-brilliant Kennedy sealed the deal for the Irish team with an excellent solo score from inside his own half, showing searing pace to burst clear.

Dardis converted two of Ireland’s tries, with Mark Roche adding the extras on the third.

Ireland’s second Pool B game saw them beat Japan 38-7, with Kennedy opening the try-scoring before Ireland U20 international Chay Mullins and the rangy Tamilore Awonusi added a brace each. Conroy bagged the final try, with Lennox converting four of the scores.

Ireland went into their final pool game against France knowing that they needed to prevent the French from opening up a big scoreline and pipping them to a quarter-final place.

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There were concerns when France raced into a 12-0 lead by half-time but Ireland steadied the ship and another try from Conroy drew them back into the game before Topping’s side showed composure to close out a narrow defeat that sent them into the Cup quarter-finals.

Ireland will face the USA in their knock-out clash at 6.34am tomorrow morning [World Rugby YouTube channel], with the Americans having topped Pool A with wins over Kenya, Canada, and South Africa.

 Ireland 7s squad:

Tamilore Awonusi (IQ Rugby)
Jordan Conroy (Buccaneers RFC)
Billy Dardis (Terenure College RFC) (capt)
Jack Kelly (Dublin University FC)
Terry Kennedy (St. Mary’s College RFC)
Steven Kilgallen (UCD RFC)
Hugo Lennox (Skerries RFC)
Matt McDonald (IQ Rugby)
Harry McNulty (UCD RFC)
Gavin Mullin (UCD RFC)
Chay Mullins (IQ Rugby)
Mark Roche (Lansdowne FC)
Andrew Smith (Clontarf FC/Leinster)

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Murray Kinsella

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