Ireland fall short after pushing New Zealand all the way in Sevens World Cup semi-finals

Updated 38 minutes ago

Ireland’s men’s Sevens team pushed New Zealand all the way – but ultimately fell in an excruciating 17-10 semi-final match at the Rugby World Cup in South Africa.

Three attempts by Ngarohi McGarvey Black kept the three successive champions alive as they raised their record against Ireland to 10-0 at Cape Town.

Jack Kelly and Andrew Smith’s attempts on both sides of the first half gave Ireland hope to capitalize on those attempts Famous quarter-final win On the hosts last night, but the All Blacks showed their class in achieving the score.

Ireland now faces the losers from Australia and Fiji in the Bronze Final at 6.25pm [live on RTÉ Player]. The winners are presented to the decision maker.

New Zealand enjoyed a dream start, with the electric McGarvey Black running in two early attempts. Neither of them was converted, but they looked otherwise in good shape.

Ireland had some bright spots, was rushed by the crowd, and pulled one through Jack Kelly after a stellar team move. Mark Roach came close to converting, but the inning ended 10-5. A little earlier, Moses Leo saw the yellow to take out Terry Kennedy amid an opportunity to score.

Ireland had the perfect start in the second half; The Andrew Smith leveling is significant with seconds on the clock after good work from Harry McNulty.

Ireland thrived from the set-piece, but the next result was decisive. Bryan Mollen brilliantly stopped one – sending TMO NZ to 5m after a knockout – before McGarvey Black grabbed the winner at 13 minutes.

Kurt Becker made the additions to 17-10, and that’s how it ended as New Zealand became the first team to reach the World Cup Finals three times in a row.

“It was a great semi-final, we knew we had a tough opponent,” Then Jordan Conroy said. “All we wanted was to play our game and raise the bar from last night’s game.

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

“The energy last night was just out of this world and trying to replicate that was a bit difficult, playing so late and getting up so early. But that’s not really an excuse, which is why the teams made it to the final.

“They just kept it and took it a step further. I feel like we, as a team, are almost there, yeah, it’s just from here.”

Ireland suffered a disappointing 24-0 defeat to Fiji in the 5/8 place-determining match.

Source: Travis Prior / INPHO

Earlier, the Ireland women’s national team had a disappointing 24-0 defeat to Fiji in the 5/8 place-determining match.

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Aiden McNulty’s side lost to defending champions New Zealand yesterday in the quarter-finals, and it was another tough loss for an impressive team. They play England in the 7/8 placement match this evening.

The first half of attempts by Adi Vani Buleki and Reapi Ulunisau – the second turned by Lavenia Cavuru – Fiji was in the driving seat by the first half, 12-0 at the break.

In truth, Ireland’s performance was riddled with errors as they played tight over and over again, and Fiji pounced on their mistakes. Captain Raijieli Daveua was next and named on the scoreboard with a breakaway attempt, before Ulunisau entered another after being intercepted. Once again, Kavuro turned one of two.

It was a stalled second half with plenty of penalty kicks, Ireland struggling to gain any real momentum as their opponents’ successive physicality shone.

Fiji now plays Canada in fifth, while Ireland’s match against England will take place at 4.31pm.

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