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Dublin: 9°C Wednesday 27 January 2021
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Ireland survive the desert heat to finish third in Dubai 7s tournament

A good end to the trip for the Boys in Green.

Ireland put in a solid performance over the last three days.
Ireland put in a solid performance over the last three days.
Image: Irish Rugby/Twitter

THE IRELAND MEN’S sevens side put the disappointment of losing this morning’s semi-final behind them to finish third at the Dubai International Invitational Tournament.

After beating Georgia in the quarter-final, Stan McDowell’s side were unable to recover from a slow start in the last four clash against Samurai 7s before eventually losing out 26-12.

The international Sevens touring side, which was predominately made up of South African players, went on to win the tournament.

But Ireland regrouped and rediscovered their touch in the third/fourth place play-off with a commanding 19-10 win over the FFR Development side.

It was an encouraging end to the weekend for the Irish team as they continue their preparations ahead of the final push for Olympic qualification in the New Year.

“We’re really pleased with a third place finish,” McDowell told IrishRugby.ie afterwards.

“We are very much in a developmental stage with these players, and going out to play against the likes of Apache and Samurai, sides who have seasoned Sevens players that have been competing on the International stage for several years is really beneficial for us.

“The guys did very well, and this week has given them a good insight as to what is required to make it to the main stage.”

Ireland had progressed to today’s knock-out stages after a win, a loss and a bye during Friday’s group phase and started Saturday with a convincing 20-7 victory over Georgia with Dan Goggin, Barry Daly and Mark Roche all touching down.

The semi-final started badly for the Boys in Green with the Samurai 7′s manufacturing an early lead and although Aaron Cairns and Gearoid Lyons crossed to give Ireland hope, they were unable to overturn the deficit.

In the desert heat, Ireland began to flag as the tournament progressed but had just enough left in the tank to finish the campaign on a high and claim third spot.

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Ryan Bailey

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