Sevens Rugby

Ireland can't contain France at 7s Grand Prix

Anthony Eddy’s side will meet Spain at the quarter-final stage tomorrow.

IRELAND SEVENS WILL meet Spain in tomorrow’s Rugby Europe Grand Prix quarter-final after today’s pool stage ended in 14-38 defeat to France.

This weekend’s Moscow tournament will act as the seeding competition for next month’s European Olympic qualification in Colombiers, when France will again pose a major threat with only one Olympic berth on offer.

Anthony Eddy’s men got off to a solid start today, running in five unanswered tries against Romania in a 29-0 win and followed it up with a 24-14 success against Italy.

France proved far more resilient opponents for Ireland however. Ireland raced into a 14-0 lead thanks to a slick line-out move finished by Terry Kennedy and immediately after the restart a try from Billy Dardis, who added both conversions.

France made no mistake from the next kick-off, and Les Bleus showed their attacking flair with a big midfield break from Jean Pascal Barraque before he popped his offload to Remi Siega.

Ireland were not able to counter-attack with the same success and a glut of turnovers ended in a second Barraque try after the half-time hooter to leave the contest delicately poised at 14-12.

‘Defensively, I think they’ve had one breakdown,” Anthony Eddy told his side at the interval, ‘it’s like we’re playing Fiji.”

Barraque again proved to be Ireland’s Bete Noir, cutting through the line to ground a third French try and he soon turned 14-17 to 14-24 with a brilliant offload to Marvin O’Connor as Ireland struggled to make tackles stick.

And Ireland’s fate as pool runners-up was sealed when Manoel Dell’Igna ran in straight off the restart.

Spain topped Pool C thanks to a sensational opening win over England before a 34-0 shut-out against Russia and victory over Georgia to close out top place. England thrashed Russia 62-0 to set their stall for tomorrow’s last-eight meeting with Wales.

Kick-off times to be confirmed: (see here for latest).

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