Sevens Heaven

Podium finish! Ireland beat England with last-gasp try to claim historic bronze

Jordan Conroy was the star as Ireland stunned the hosts to round off a memorable weekend in style.

IRELAND’S DREAM APPEARANCE at the London 7s scaled new heights on Sunday evening, as a last-gasp converted try — scored by speedster Jordan Conroy — defeated the hosts and secured a historic bronze medal.

Ireland celebrate a third place finish after beating England Ireland celebrate their third-place finish. Andrew Fosker / INPHO Andrew Fosker / INPHO / INPHO

Anthony Eddy and Stan McDowell’s side made history earlier with a seismic upset, defeating USA in the quarter-finals of the competition, but were then overpowered by the eventual champions, and current Olympic gold medallists, Fiji in their semi-final clash.

Not to be deterred, Ireland — who play their rugby on the second-tier challenge circuit but were competing here as an invitational side — completed a remarkable weekend by edging England 21-19 to take third place at Twickenham.

Conroy continued his blistering form as he scored a first-half brace of tries, including one from 90 metres out, before Dan Bibby hit back with two of his own.

England’s Dan Norton then took his record career try tally to 295 when he crossed early in the second half, but Conroy showed all his gas by sprinting away for his hat-trick and eighth try of the weekend before Mark Roche nailed a tricky touchline conversion to seal a memorable win.

It was Ireland’s first appearance on the World Series since 2004 and never before had they reached the cup quarter-finals, so this is a momentous achievement.

Next up, Ireland will look to continue their strong form when they travel to France next weekend for the Paris leg of the World Series, before July’s World Cup in San Francisco.

Both Conroy and Mark Roche featured in the Dream Team of the tournament alongside Toulon winger Josua Tuisova, who scored a try to help fire Fiji to a 21-17 victory over arch-rivals South Africa in the cup final.

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