Monday 26 September 2016

Ireland come up short in Olympic qualifier

Sevens

Published 20/06/2016 | 02:30

Ireland men's sevens team out of the Olympics after defeat against Spain. Photo: Sportsfile
Ireland men's sevens team out of the Olympics after defeat against Spain. Photo: Sportsfile

Ireland men's sevens Olympics dream came to a crushing halt in Monaco yesterday as defeat to Spain in the repechage tournament ruled them out of contention for the one remaining place in Rio.

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They finished top of a difficult pool, that included top seeds Samoa, who are regulars on the sevens circuit, as well as Tonga and Zimbabwe, on Saturday but Ireland were unable to carry the momentum forward.

Three wins from three as well as scoring an impressive 14 tries left Ireland full of confidence going into their quarter-final meeting with Spain and despite leading 7-5 at the break, they wilted in the second half.

Captain Tom Daly's try, which was converted by Billy Dardis after just three minutes, had given Ireland an ideal start but Spain, whose strong set-piece was crucial, ran out 12-7 winners to end their hopes of qualifying for Rio.

Despite tries from Shane Layden, Mick McGrath and Daly, Ireland ended the tournament on a disappointing note when they came up short against Canada (24-19) in the fifth-place semi-final.

Anthony Eddy's side will continue to chase qualification for the world series.

Attention now turns to the women's team who will be hoping that home advantage at UCD counts in their favour this weekend as they aim for Olympic qualification.

Irish Independent

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