dog day afternoon

Rapid and steady progress continues for Irish 7s with 2nd place finish for Wolfhounds

Reigning champions Samurai needed extra-time to see off the Irish challenge.

IRELAND WOLFHOUNDS FORCED the final in to extra-time, but had to settle for second place by ‘golden try’ that instantly ended the game and gave reigning champions Samurai 7s another title.

Today’s event at Colwyn Bay was the third of the GB7s series and Ireland, with a handful of players who had never played the shorter form of the game this time last month, have been improving with every outing.

The opening weekend in Edinburgh brought a fourth place for the Wolfhounds, effectively the A- team and proving ground for the full international 7s side, and the went one better last week by claiming third.

Today, they pushed Samurai all the way in the final.

Ireland began the day by laying down a marker, Adam Byrne, David McGuigan and Diarmuid McCarthy notched a brace of tries each in a 43 – 0 trouncing of Welsh Charitables before tries from Foster Horan, Alan Bennie, Aaron Cairns and Terry Kennedy helped them on to the right side of a tussle with regular contenders CoOptimist Rugby.

Despite early tries from Byrne and Alex Wooton, the Wolfhounds lost out in a pool decider against Samurai who showed their ability to finish strong by turning a 5 – 14 half-time deficit into a 15 – 14 win.

The Irish side were able to see off the challenge of Apache 7s in the semi-final with a last-play try giving them a 24 -19 victory to set up the rematch against Samurai.

Though Ireland fell behind 12 – 5 by half-time, they continued to use that sense of momentum from the earlier rounds. After tries from McGuigan, Ian Fitzpatrick and Harry McNulty, Mark Roche touched down after the final hooter and forced Samurai to delay their title celebrations as the score read 24 -24 at full-time.

Unfortunately, the last step was one too far for this young fledgling Sevens outfit as Rocky Khan completed his hat-trick in extra time. Yet going from fourth to third to second in the space of their first three tournaments can only be a promising sign for the challenges, on and off the international stage, to come.

Full Wolfhounds squad

Alan Bennie (Clanwilliam/Munster)
Adam Byrne (UCD/Leinster)
Aaron Cairns (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
Ian Fitzpatrick (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Foster Horan (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Terry Kennedy (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
Shane Layden (Buccaneers/Connacht)
Gearoid Lyons (Young Munster/Munster)
Diarmaid McCarthy (Young Munster/Munster)
David McGuigan (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
Harry McNulty (UCD/Leinster)
Mark Roche (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Steve Toal-Lennon (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
Alex Wootton (Garryowen/Munster)

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