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Ireland 7s teams off to flyer in Toulouse as men beat South Africa for first time

The women’s team had an impressive win against England.

Ireland women's 7s captain Lucy Mulhall [file photo].
Ireland women's 7s captain Lucy Mulhall [file photo].
Image: Martin Seras Lima/INPHO

IRELAND’S MEN’S AND women’s 7s teams both opened their accounts at the Toulouse 7s in winning fashion, with the men beating South Africa for the first time ever on the World 7s Series.

However, the men’s team followed that big win up with a disappointing defeat to Samoa in their second pool game.

A hat-trick from captain Lucy Mulhall helped the women’s team to an impressive 31-12 victory over England in their first Pool C clash at Stade Ernest-Wallon.

The prolific Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe and Eve Higgins also dotted down against England for Aiden McNulty’s team, who are on a superb run of form after silver and bronze medals in their two most recent outings on the World 7s Series.

The outstanding Mulhall added three conversions and Ireland carried that momentum into their second pool game against Brazil, digging deep to record a 17-14 win.

This is the final leg of the women’s Series season, with Mulhall and co. keen to improve their current fifth-place standing in the overall standings.

terry-kennedy Terry Kennedy was superb yet again [file photo]. Source: TrySportImages/Travis Prior/INPHO

 

Ireland fell behind twice against Brazil but stayed in the contest thanks to tries from Higgins and Murphy-Crowe, with Mulhall adding one conversion.

Trailing 14-12, they then took the lead in the final minute when, following some excellent work from Mulhall, Stacey Flood’s excellent chip found Murphy-Crowe in space to dot down and claim a hard-earned 17-14 win.

The result moves Ireland level at the top of Pool C with France, who they face tomorrow morning [KO 10.20am Irish time, World Rugby YouTube].

The Ireland men’s 7s were also able to get their Pool D campaign off to a successful start as they beat World Series leaders South Africa 21-12.

The Blitzbokke opened the scoring but tries from the brilliant Terry Kennedy and Jack Kelly pushed Ireland back in front by the early minutes of the second half, with captain Billy Dardis converting both.

The South Africans crossed again in the 10th minute but another score from Kennedy, again converted by Dardis, allowed Ireland to breathe a sigh of relief.

But Ireland couldn’t back up their first-ever win over the Blitzbokke as they delivered a disappointing performance in a 27-14 defeat to Samoa in their second pool game.

Jordan Conroy and Kelly scored tries for Ireland but the Samoans delivered a dominant second-half showing as they ran a total of four tries past the Irish defence.

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Ireland will now look to tomorrow’s final pool clash against Spain [KO 11am Irish time, World Rugby YouTube] as they seek a place in the Cup quarter-finals, aiming to build on fourth-place finishes in Seville and Singapore earlier this season.

Ireland women’s 7s squad:

Claire Boles (Railway Union RFC)
Megan Burns (Blackrock College RFC)
Vicky Elmes Kinlan (Wicklow RFC)
Stacey Flood (Railway Union RFC)
Katie Heffernan (Railway Union RFC)
Eve Higgins (Railway Union RFC)
Brittany Hogan (Ballynahinch RFC/Old Belvedere RFC)
Erin King (Old Belvedere RFC)
Emily Lane (Blackrock College RFC)
Kate Farrell McCabe (Suttonians RFC)
Anna McGann (Railway Union RFC)
Lucy Mulhall (Wicklow RFC) (capt)
Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe (Railway Union RFC)

Ireland men’s 7s squad:

Jordan Conroy (Buccaneers RFC)
Billy Dardis (Terenure College RFC) (capt)
Sean Kearns (Ireland Sevens)
Jack Kelly (Dublin University FC)
Terry Kennedy (St. Mary’s College RFC)
Hugo Lennox (Skerries RFC)
Harry McNulty (UCD RFC)
Bryan Mollen (Blackrock College RFC)
Chay Mullins (IQ Rugby)
Mark Roche (Lansdowne FC)
Tom Roche (Lansdowne FC)
Andrew Smith (Clontarf FC/Leinster)
Zac Ward (Ballynahinch RFC).

Originally published at 11.28am. Additional reporting by Ciarán Kennedy

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