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Ireland Sevens advance to quarter-finals after thrilling tussle with South Africa

Anthony Eddy’s men played out a draw with the Blitzboks.

Updated Mar 1st 2020, 8:33 AM

ireland-terry-kennedy Terry Kennedy scored a stunning try in Ireland's opener. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

IRELAND ARE THROUGH to the last eight on the fifth leg of the Men’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Los Angeles.

A 19-19 draw with South Africa was enough for Anthony Eddy’s side to advance to the quarter-finals, having finished second to the Blitzboks in Pool B.

A meeting with Australia at Dignity Health Sports Park today (6.05pm Irish time) is Ireland’s reward.

Ireland’s impressive performance, which featured two tries from Jack Kelly and one from Jordan Conroy, had them in front in the dying moments of their clash with South Africa.

A Stedman Gans try after the hooter rescued a draw for the South Africans, but the two points earned were nevertheless sufficient for Ireland to progress ahead of Canada and Kenya.

Ireland’s Terry Kennedy scored an outstanding individual try in the final seconds to hand his side an opening win at the expense of the Canadians. Kennedy danced around five defenders to land the match-winner.

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The 23-year-old’s stunning try on the final hooter sealed a hard-earned 17-12 win for Ireland, after earlier scores from Jordan Conroy and Greg O’Shea.

Ah man, that guy, he’s nearly undefendable one-on-one,” O’Shea said of Kennedy and his stunning score afterwards. “The last step was nearly a piss-take, it was very funny. 

“But he’s an incredible athlete, we love to have him on the team.”

Ireland’s second Group B clash ended in defeat, however, as Kenya ran out 29-12 winners. A late fightback wasn’t enough, with two more tries from Kennedy and O’Shea cancelled out by Kenya. 

Quarter-finals

  • Fiji v England
  • Australia v Ireland
  • New Zealand v France
  • South Africa v USA 

– Additional reporting by Paul Dollery

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