Conroy runs in his try against Spain. Mike Lee/INPHO
mixing it

Close-run thing with NZ the highlight as Ireland 7s struggle in Vancouver

Anthony Eddy’s side pushed New Zealandclose after losing to Spain in Vancouver.

IRELAND PROVED THEY can mix it with the best as they pushed New Zealand close in their final pool match at the Vancouver 7s, but consistency remains a noteable issue after they lost a helter-skelter clash with Spain early on Saturday.

A Foster Horan-inspired performance against the Black jerseys gave Ireland hope, but quick-fire tries from last year’s U20 centre Liam Turner and Jack Kelly were eclipsed by clinical efforts from Akuila Rokolisoa and Caleb Clarke to leave Ireland 12-14 behind at the break.

Kelly scored his second try in the second period after Jordan Conroy crossed and Ireland led 24-21, seriously threatening a shock after Harry McNulty helped win the following restart. But New Zealand had enough in the tank to thwart the danger and advance in attack for Vilimoni Koroi and Amanaki Nicole to seal the win.

jordan-conroy-runs-in-a-try-against-spain Conroy runs in his try against Spain. Mike Lee / INPHO Mike Lee / INPHO / INPHO

Ireland’s loss in their opening fixture came thanks to a dramatic last-gasp loss, Conroy’s scorching effort cancelled out by Maniel Sainz-Trapaga after the hooter had blown.

Conroy book-ended Ireland’s scoring in the 26-28 loss to La Roja, with Terry Kennedy and Horan also crossing before their European rivals snatched the win.

Ulster’s Graham Curtis sealed a tight 14-12 win over Kenya, a result that avenges last weekend’s loss in LA.  The result left Ireland third in the pool and facing a clash with France (17.05 Irish time) when the play-off stages begin tomorrow.

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