Ireland 7s fall to second defeat in Tokyo against impressive USA side

Ireland were beaten 19-17 by the USA in their second Pool C game.

USA’s Danny Barrett is tackled by Harry McNulty and Terry Kennedy.
USA’s Danny Barrett is tackled by Harry McNulty and Terry Kennedy.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

THE IRELAND SEVENS will need to beat Kenya if they are to have any chance of advancing to the quarter-finals of the 2020 Olympics after falling to a second defeat in Pool C.

Ireland were beaten 19-17 by the USA in their second Pool C outing, following the 33-14 defeat to South Africa earlier today.

Ireland could still qualify as one of the best third-placed sides, but will need a big performance when they take on Kenya at 3am Irish time on Tuesday.

Anthony Eddy’s side struggled at times against an impressive USA side, who dominated possession in the early stages.

USA flyer Perry Baker scored the game’s opening try with just under two minutes played. Ireland had barely touched the ball before Baker showed great footwork to skip past Jordan Conroy and Billy Dardis down the left, with the conversion putting the USA 7-0 up. 

And things went from bad to worse for Ireland as the USA immediately added a second, Madison Hughes scoring after Ireland failed to collect the restart, with Hughes kicking the loose ball upfield and beating Jack Kelly and Hugo Lennox for pace to dot down, the USA captain also converting the score.

hugo-lennox-and-martin-iosefo Ireland's Hugo Lennox and Martin Iosefo of the USA. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Ireland finally found a way back into the game when Lennox crossed in first half added time.

Following some good work by Terry Kennedy to move the ball wide, Foster Horan has the pace to break down the left wing.

Foran was tackled just short of the try-line but managed to pass back inside to Lennox, who did well to collect the ball around his ankles and cross for Ireland’s first try of the contest. Billy Dardis failed to add the conversion from a difficult angle, Ireland trailing 12-5 at the break.

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Ireland will be pleased with how they responded to a difficult first half, with Eddy’s side making a more positive start to the second period.

Harry McNulty cut the deficit back to just two points after the LA Giltinis player finished a move with included a great break by Lennox and another smart contribution from the influential Kennedy. However Dardis once again was off target with another difficult conversion attempt.

Ireland’s hopes of an unlikely comeback were quickly ended however, as the USA responded with a third try, Steve Tomasin crossing unchallenged after Brett Thompson made a brilliant run to get the USA down the pitch.

Foster Horan crossed for a late consolation try with the last play of the game, capitalising after McNulty did well to win possession in front of the USA posts.

Ireland squad: Jordan Conroy, Billy Dardis (captain), Ian Fitzpatrick, Foster Horan, Jack Kelly, Terry Kennedy, Adam Leavy, Hugo Lennox, Harry McNulty, Greg O’Shea, Mark Roche, Bryan Mollen.

About the author:

Ciarán Kennedy

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