Ireland left with work to do after Uruguay produce late comeback at Hong Kong 7s

Anthony Eddy’s side need to beat Russia tomorrow to advance to the quarter-finals.

Hugo Keenan in action against Uruguay.
Hugo Keenan in action against Uruguay.
Image: Yu Chun Christopher Wong/INPHO

IRELAND PAID THE price for taking their foot off the pedal on the opening day of the World Rugby World Series qualification tournament, as Uruguay staged a late comeback to leave Anthony Eddy’s side with work to do.

After opening their Hong Kong 7s campaign with a dominant win over Jamaica on Friday morning, Ireland raced into a commanding lead in their second pool game, before Uruguay overhauled a 19-point deficit to snatch a 26-26 draw.

It means Ireland will need to beat Russia in tomorrow morning’s final Pool F game to secure a passage through to the quarter-finals, with the overall tournament winner earning a place on next year’s World Sevens Series circuit.

Eddy’s side recorded a 26-0 win over Jamaica earlier in the day, a brace of tries from Foster Horan helping Ireland to a strong start, with Jordon Conroy and John O’Donnell also crossing at the Hong Kong Stadium. 

A first-half hat-trick from Terry Kennedy set Ireland on their way to a second big win of the day, but they were fortunate not to lose to Uruguay, the South Americans conjuring a stunning second-half revival. 

Two quick tries from Felipe Etcheverry put Uruguay within touching distance, and with seconds left on the clock, Diego Ardo chipped over the Irish defence and gathered to score to the left of the posts.

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Substitute Tomas Ubilla had the chance to win the game for his side but he missed the conversion to let Ireland off the hook, who face Russia tomorrow morning at 3.08am Irish time.

Gavan Casey and Ryan Bailey are joined by Bernard Jackman to look back on a thrilling weekend of European rugby on the latest episode of The42 Rugby Weekly:

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