cape crusader

Terry Kennedy scorches in last-gasp winner as Ireland 7s shock Australia

‘To come out and put on a performance like that against a side that pumped us last week is really encouraging.’

IRELAND MEN PULLED off a major shock in the opening fixture of this weekend’s Cape Town 7s thanks to a scintillating late finish from Terry Kennedy that sealed victory over Australia.

With the sides level at 21 apiece, Ireland hit Harry McNulty off a line-out to set a clinical set move in motion. Mark Roche and Greg O’Shea whipped the ball wide to invite Kennedy – the son of former international Terry Snr – on and he used the threat of Jordan Conroy to make space as he dummied a pass and blazed a trail to the right-hand corner.

The late score against six men sealed a 26-21 win for Ireland on the second weekend of their debut season on the World Series.

Aaron O’Sullivan, John O’Donnell and Billy Dardis supplied the earlier tries for Ireland. And while the captain was eager to look ahead to tomorrow’s fixtures, he was thrilled to help his side avenge last week’s 45-21 loss to Australia.

“We were pretty disappointed after last weekend,” Dardis said of the one-win, 12th-place finish in Dubai when interviewed by Hugh Cahill.

“It was a bit embarrassing to be honest. We didn’t really put our best foot forward.

Yeah, there were lots of challenges with this travelling from Dubai to Cape Town – 10-hour flight and a short turnaround – but every team has that.  To come out and put on a performance like that against a side that pumped us last week is really encouraging.”

Dardis and co. will hope to sustain the momentum gained from today’s opener when they meet Samoa at 9.19 tomorrow morning.

“We are thrilled. The main thing is we can’t get ahead of ourselves. We had a good chat in there and the lads are well hyped up. We have to go at it again, repeat the performances and go better.

“Samoa and Kenya are going to be a difficult challenge.”

The women’s side did not manage to hit the ground running in such impressive fashion. Up against the powerful US 7s, they were hit for six tries in a 38-0 loss.

And the fixture list promises the task won’t be any easier on day two in Cape Town with Australia and England awaiting Ireland (at 06.45 and 12.55, Sky Sports).

Bernard Jackman joined Murray Kinsella and Sean Farrell in studio to chat about the remarkable John Cooney and the Ireland captaincy. 

The42 Rugby Weekly / SoundCloud

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