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6 Nations

Ireland Men To Battle For Bronze After Narrow New Zealand Defeat

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Last night’s exertions in dumping hosts South Africa out of the tournament looked to be having an impact when Ireland (sponsored by TritonLake) were left trailing 10-0 after just two minutes.

McGarvey-Black reeled off a blistering brace of tries, but Jack Kelly capitalised on Moses Leo’s yellow card to halve the deficit for half-time.

James Topping’s side maintained the momentum on the restart, Harry McNulty competing hard in the air and the breaking ball was run in by Andrew Smith for a levelling eighth-minute try.

Captain Billy Dardis missed the difficult conversion from the left, and despite some terrific work from the likes of Kelly and the tireless Terry Kennedy, Ireland were unable to snatch the decisive score.

Instead, the in-form McGarvey-Black came up trumps for the All Blacks Sevens in the 13th minute when converting pressure into points. The extras were added by replacement Kurt Baker.

The ball squirted out of a late Irish ruck, allowing New Zealand to turn defence into attack as they became the first team to qualify for three successive Sevens World Cup finals – they were champions in both 2013 and 2018.

Ireland will have their last runout at Cape Town Stadium at 7.25pm local time/6.25pm Irish time. Their Bronze final opponents are Australia, whom they beat to win the Challenge Trophy in San Francisco four years ago.

Speaking in the aftermath of such a gut-wrenching result, Jordan Conroy admitted: “It was a big semi-final, we knew we had a tough opponent. All we wanted to do was to play our game and bring it up a level from last night’s match.

“Unfortunately, the result didn’t go our way. It was a close match but that’s how the game goes sometimes, it is just small margins.

“The energy last night was just out of this world and just trying to replicate that was a little bit tough, playing so late and then getting up early. But that’s not really an excuse, that’s why teams are in the final.

“They just get on with it and bring it up a step further. I feel like we, as a team, are nearly there so, yeah, it’s just up from here.”

Ireland fell behind after just 29 seconds, Kennedy failing to gather the kick-off and New Zealand used the quick lineout to go to the far wing before Tone Ng Shiu’s impressive offload put McGarvey-Black over in the left corner.

The scoreboard showed 10-0 shortly afterwards, with referee Reuben Keane happy with the legality of New Zealand’s counter ruck and follow-up on Sean Cribbin that created a pathway to the try-line for McGarvey-Black.

A Kennedy turnover penalty lifted the men in green, and then another steal from the St. Mary’s College speedster – followed by nice work on the counter attack from Cribbin, McNulty and Kelly – finally got them on the front foot.

Leo took Kennedy out off the ball, earning a late first-half yellow, and Ireland’s patient build-up play was duly rewarded. McNulty put Kelly over in the right corner, but agonisingly, Mark Roche’s well-struck conversion was denied by the woodwork.

Luck was suddenly on Ireland’s side when the second half got underway. McNulty made a nuisance of himself and the ball bounced up invitingly for Smith to embark on a 35-metre run to the whitewash.

After Dardis pulled his conversion narrowly wide on the near side, the Ireland skipper went long from the restart and a favourable bounce may have seen the inrushing Kennedy score wide on the left.

Bryan Mollen denied Leo with a terrific try-saving tackle as New Zealand came hunting for their third score, which crucially came just a few moments later. Match winner McGarvey-Black slipped through past two tired tackles.

That energy-draining late night quarter-final, coupled with the injury-enforced absence of Hugo Lennox, caught up with Ireland in the end, but it was a valiant effort against one of the world’s most consistent Sevens outfits.

Conroy added: “Looking back to our first World Cup in San Francisco, as the newbies coming ninth, and being able to play for a medal four years later is absolutely amazing.

“It just shows the growth we have been through in the last four years. It would be another one for the history books for us (to win bronze), and hopefully, we can bring it home.”

All of Ireland’s games are live on the RTÉ Player in the Republic of Ireland, while there will be coverage across Irish Rugby social media channels and on IrishRugby.ie. A full list of broadcasters is available here.

The Ireland Men’s and Women’s Sevens teams are wearing their brand new Canterbury kit for the World Cup in Cape Town. Click here to buy the new jerseys online from Intersport Elverys.

IRELAND MEN’S SEVENS Squad (Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022, Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town, September 9-11, 2022):

Jordan Conroy (Buccaneers RFC)
Sean Cribbin (Suttonians RFC)
Billy Dardis (Terenure College RFC) (capt)
Jack Kelly (Dublin University FC)
Terry Kennedy (St. Mary’s College RFC)
Hugo Lennox (Skerries RFC)
Matt McDonald (IQ Rugby)
Harry McNulty (UCD RFC)
Bryan Mollen (Blackrock College RFC)
Chay Mullins (IQ Rugby)
Mark Roche (Lansdowne FC)
Andrew Smith (Clontarf FC/Leinster)

IRELAND MEN’S RWC Sevens Schedule –

Friday, September 9:

Pre-Round Of 16 –

IRELAND 24 PORTUGAL 0, Cape Town Stadium
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Terry Kennedy, Hugo Lennox, Sean Cribbin, Bryan Mollen; Cons: Mark Roche, Billy Dardis
Portugal: –
HT: Ireland 12 Portugal 0

Match Report: Kennedy: Happy To Get Through Without Conceding

Team: Harry McNulty, Matt McDonald, Jack Kelly Mark Roche, Hugo Lennox, Terry Kennedy, Chay Mullins.

Subs used: Sean Cribbin, Andrew Smith, Bryan Mollen, Billy Dardis (capt), Jordan Conroy.

Rugby World Cup Sevens – Fixtures/Results

Round Of 16 –

ENGLAND 5 IRELAND 17, Cape Town Stadium
Scorers: England: Try: Charlton Kerr
Ireland; Tries: Harry McNulty, Mark Roche, Jordan Conroy; Con: Mark Roche
HT: England 0 Ireland 7

Match Report: Ireland Men Overcome England To Reach Quarter-Final Stage

Team: Harry McNulty, Andrew Smith, Jack Kelly, Mark Roche, Hugo Lennox, Terry Kennedy, Jordan Conroy.

Subs used: Billy Dardis (capt), Sean Cribbin, Chay Mullins, Matt McDonald, Bryan Mollen.

Saturday, September 10:

Championship Quarter-Final –

IRELAND 24 SOUTH AFRICA 14, Cape Town Stadium
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Mark Roche, Harry McNulty, Jordan Conroy 2; Cons: Mark Roche, Billy Dardis
South Africa: Tries: Muller du Plessis, Mfundo Ndhlovu; Cons: Ronald Brown, Selvyn Davids
HT: Ireland 7 South Africa 7

Match Report: Conroy Double Drives Ireland Men To Famous Win Over Hosts

Team: Harry McNulty, Andrew Smith, Jack Kelly, Mark Roche, Sean Cribbin, Terry Kennedy, Jordan Conroy.

Subs used: Billy Dardis (capt), Bryan Mollen, Matt McDonald, Chay Mullins.

Sunday, September 11:

Championship Semi-Final –

IRELAND 10 NEW ZEALAND 17, Cape Town Stadium
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Jack Kelly, Andrew Smith
New Zealand: Tries: Ngarohi McGarvey-Black 3; Con: Kurt Baker
HT: Ireland 5 New Zealand 10

Team: Harry McNulty, Andrew Smith, Jack Kelly, Mark Roche, Sean Cribbin, Terry Kennedy, Jordan Conroy.

Subs used: Billy Dardis (capt), Bryan Mollen, Matt McDonald, Chay Mullins.

Championship Bronze Final –

IRELAND v AUSTRALIA, Cape Town Stadium, 7.25pm local time/6.25pm Irish time

Images & Content from Irish Rugby & Images © Inpho Photography


6 Nations

‘It’s A Great Appointment’ – Farrell On Murphy’s Move To Ulster

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With Dan McFarland stepping down as Ulster head coach this week, it has been confirmed that Murphy will take over the role on an interim basis following the conclusion of the Under-20 Six Nations Championship.

The Ireland Under-20s are in title contention again thanks to two opening wins, with Murphy having overseen back-to-back U-20 Grand Slam successes and a World Rugby U-20 Championship final appearance in the last two seasons.

Farrell first worked alongside Murphy when they were defence coach and skills and kicking coach respectively, during Joe Schmidt’s coaching reign with Ireland.

The pair have kept up a strong connection with Murphy continuing for a short while as a specialist kicking resource for the senior squad, and the Under-20s often training with Farrell’s men during the Six Nations window.

“I think it’s a great appointment. I think Richie will do a fantastic job (at Ulster), his rugby knowledge is second to none,” commented Farrell.

“He is a very experienced guy that has been an assistant for quite some time and I know that he worked with us for a short period before we went to the Under-20s, but that was his next step to take that type of mantle on and do it his way.

He has certainly done a fantastic job. I mean, coaching the Under-20s is coaching in its purest form, it’s bloody difficult because of the swapping and changing the whole time each year.

“It shows exactly the quality that he’s got and his knowledge of the whole game. I think the players up at Ulster there will love him.

“His attitude is great but first and foremost I think they will respect his knowledge, definitely.”

McFarland was in charge of Ulster since 2018 and guided them to the PRO14 final two years later. They looked to be finding form again with a trio of wins over Racing 92, Connacht, and Leinster, coming into the New Year.

However, last Sunday’s poor 19-17 defeat at the Ospreys was their third loss in a row, leaving them eighth in the BKT United Rugby Championship, and came just a few weeks after failing to reach the last 16 of the Investec Champions Cup.

Assistant coach Dan Soper will take the reins for their next URC fixture at home to the Dragons on Saturday week, before Murphy comes on board for their two-match tour to South Africa where they will play the Hollywoodbets Sharks and the DHL Stormers.

The Bray man will have to quickly get up to the speed as the Ulstermen then travel to Montpellier in the EPCR Challenge Cup’s round of 16, just after Easter. Given the people involved, Farrell is confident they can turn things around at Kingspan Stadium.

“Look, it’s obvious that we want all the provinces playing at the top of their game. If that happens, it’s a special place to be but it doesn’t tend to happen that often, does it?

“One thing I know for sure is that Ulster have got a fantastic squad and good people up there. The lads that we have within our squad are exemplary to the province, as far as their attitudes are concerned whether they’re playing or not.”

A dislocated toe, suffered during that loss to the Ospreys, means Iain Henderson is unavailable for Ireland’s clash with Wales on Saturday. His Ulster colleague, Stuart McCloskey, is one of only two backs on the hosts’ bench as they opt to return to a six-two split.

New-look Wales, who lost their first two games to Scotland and England by a combined three points, come to Dublin with a squad that has accumulated 662 caps, compared to Ireland’s 1012.

119 of those caps are provided by George North alone, while 21-year-old Exeter Chiefs lock Dafydd Jenkins continues as captain, and Cardiff back rower Mackenzie Martin could make his debut off the bench.

Asked what he is expecting from Wales this weekend, Farrell replied: “Playing against Wales, you know it’s always going to be a scrap.

“You know that every single time Wales play against Ireland, it means probably a little bit more to them, I’ve been told (that) over the years.

“So we’re aware of that, and we also know as well that Wales historically have got better throughout the competition.

“We’re five weeks into it come the weekend, from when we first started training. We know that they’ll be better and hopefully we’ve used our time wisely as well.”

Images & Content from Irish Rugby & Images © Inpho Photography


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6 Nations

Wales team to face Ireland in Dublin named

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Senior men’s head coach Warren Gatland has named the Wales side to face Ireland at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin in the third round of the 2024 Guinness Six Nations on Saturday 24 February (KO 2.15pm live on ITV and S4C).

There is one change to the starting XV that played England at Twickenham on 10 February, with Sam Costelow returning for Wales at fly half.

Among the replacements back-row Mackenzie Martin is in line to win his first senior cap this weekend and would become the 1,200th Wales men’s international.

.

Tight-head prop Dillon Lewis would be making his first appearance of this Championship if called on from the bench.

Gatland said: “We are excited to go out to Dublin and test ourselves against one of the leading sides in world rugby. It’s a challenge we are relishing.

“We’ve made steps in the last couple of games and now it’s about building on that, learning from those experiences and taking that into this weekend.

“It’s about continuing to work hard, looking for accuracy in our performance across 80 minutes and also keeping our discipline.”

Wales senior men’s team to play Ireland at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin in the Guinness Six Nations, Saturday 24 February KO 2.15pm GMT. Live on ITV and S4C.
15. Cameron Winnett (Cardiff Rugby – 2 caps)
14. Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby – 56 caps)
13. George North (Ospreys – 119 caps)
12. Nick Tompkins (Saracens – 34 caps)
11. Rio Dyer (Dragons – 16 caps)
10. Sam Costelow (Scarlets – 9 caps)
9. Tomos Williams (Cardiff Rugby – 55 caps)
1. Gareth Thomas (Ospreys – 27 caps)
2. Elliot Dee (Dragons – 48 caps)
3. Keiron Assiratti (Cardiff Rugby – 4 caps)
4. Dafydd Jenkins (Exeter Chiefs – 14 caps) Captain / Capten
5. Adam Beard (Ospreys – 53 caps)
6. Alex Mann (Cardiff Rugby – 2 caps)
7. Tommy Reffell (Leicester Tigers – 15 caps)
8. Aaron Wainwright (Dragons – 45 caps)

Replacements

16. Ryan Elias (Scarlets – 40 caps)
17. Corey Domachowski (Cardiff Rugby – 8 caps)
18. Dillon Lewis (Harlequins – 54 caps)
19. Will Rowlands (Racing 92 – 30 caps)
20. Mackenzie Martin (Cardiff Rugby – uncapped)
21. Kieran Hardy (Scarlets – 19 caps)
22. Ioan Lloyd (Scarlets – 4 caps)
23. Mason Grady (Cardiff Rugby – 8 caps)

Images & Content – Wales Rugby


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6 Nations

Jager and Ahern Join Ireland Squad Ahead Of Wales

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The Ireland squad re-assembled in Dublin on Sunday evening ahead of this weekend’s Guinness Men’s Six Nations Round 3 clash against Wales at Aviva Stadium (Kick-off 2.15pm).

Prop Oli Jager has joined the squad and Thomas Ahern has also linked up with Andy Farrell‘s side at the IRFU High Performance Centre this week.

Iain Henderson picked up a foot injury during Ulster’s URC game away to Ospreys on Sunday and there will be a further update later in the week.

The Ireland Match Day Squad to face Wales at Aviva Stadium will be named on Thursday at 2pm.

Ireland Squad – Wales Week: 

Backs (15):

Bundee Aki (Galwegians/Connacht)
Harry Byrne (UCD/Leinster)
Craig Casey (Shannon/Munster)
Jack Crowley (Cork Constitution/Munster)
Ciaran Frawley (UCD/Leinster)
Jamison Gibson-Park (Leinster)
Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Leinster)
Hugo Keenan (UCD/Leinster)
Jordan Larmour (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
James Lowe (Leinster)
Stuart McCloskey (Bangor/Ulster)
Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster)
Calvin Nash (Young Munster/Munster)
Garry Ringrose (UCD/Leinster)
Jacob Stockdale (Lurgan/Ulster)

Forwards (21):

Thomas Ahern (Shannon/Munster)*
Ryan Baird (Dublin University/Leinster)
Finlay Bealham (Buccaneers/Connacht)
Tadhg Beirne (Lansdowne/Munster)
Jack Conan (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
Caelan Doris (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster)
Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster)
Iain Henderson (Academy/Ulster)
Oli Jager (Munster)*
Ronan Kelleher (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Jeremy Loughman (Garryowen/Munster)
Joe McCarthy (Dublin University/Leinster)
Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster)(captain)
Tom O’Toole (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
Andrew Porter (UCD/Leinster)
James Ryan (UCD/Leinster)
Dan Sheehan (Lansdowne/Leinster)
Tom Stewart (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
Nick Timoney (Banbridge/Ulster)
Josh van der Flier (UCD/Leinster)

*Denotes uncapped player

Images & Content from Irish Rugby & Images © Inpho Photography


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