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Rio 2016

Heartbreak for Ireland as Olympic dream shattered after defeat to Spain

Anthony Eddy’s men fell at the quarter-final hurdle this morning.

IRELAND’S MEN’S SEVENS team suffered heartbreak this morning as their hopes of qualifying for Rio were extinguished with a narrow defeat to Spain in Monaco.

After safely negotiating a daunting group yesterday, Anthony Eddy’s side came up short in their quarter-final tie at the Olympic repechage qualifying tournament.

Leading 7-5 at half-time thanks to a try from captain Tom Daly, Ireland had given themselves a great chance of progressing to the semi-final at the Stade Louis II.

However, Spain conjured a second-half comeback to score seven unanswered points to run out 12-7 winners and advance to the last four.

Putting the initial disappointment to one side, Ireland can be hugely proud of their spirited run after going unbeaten through the group stage by beating Zimbabwe, Tonga and top seeds Samoa.

It was always going to be an outside shot for the team to win this tournament and book their place in Rio but it has been a hugely positive campaign for the sevens programme and it’s certainly onwards and upwards from here.

The women’s team, meanwhile, will hope to secure their place at the Olympics when Ireland hosts the qualifying tournament in UCD at the end of this month.

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