Ireland Men March Into LA 7s Semi-Final After Ending Argentina’s Winning Run

Ireland Men March Into LA 7s Semi-Final After Ending Argentina’s Winning Run

The Ireland Men’s Sevens team (sponsored by TritonLake) produced a barnstorming three-try finish to stun HSBC SVNS Series leaders Argentina with a 24-14 defeat and advance to the LA 7s Cup semi-finals.

Having only just squeezed through to the quarter-final stage, Ireland hung in there against the in-form Argentinians, who led 14-5, before yellow cards for Rodrigo Isgro and Matias Osadczuk left the door open.

With captain Harry McNulty impressing at the breakdown and in the air, James Topping’s men worked Jordan Conroy over for a converted try before replacement Mark Roche touched down in the 12th minute to give them a three-point lead.

Conroy saved the best for last, breaking past Marcos Moneta on the outside for a classy second score that Roche converted. Ireland’s stirring victory ended Argentina’s 18-match winning streak and their bid to claim a fourth successive Cup title.

It was a memorable night at the home of LA Galaxy as France, Spain, and Great Britain also qualified to make it an all-European last-four. Topping’s side will play France in their semi-final at 2.08pm local time/10.08pm Irish time (live on RugbyPass TV).

Speaking afterwards and referencing the earlier 26-14 pool loss to Argentina, Roche said: “That’s the thing with Sevens, you get beaten and you have another chance. With the USA getting us through on points difference, we took our chance. It’s all about moments and chances in knockout rugby.

“It’s an amazing feeling, I’m so proud of the lads here and those back home. It’s not new to us to be in a semi-final. We’re well aware of what to do. Sleep tonight, get the food in, and get going again tomorrow.”

This is the Ireland Men’s third Cup semi-final appearance of the season, having lost to Argentina in both Cape Town and Perth. They will be gunning for revenge against the French after Antoine Dupont’s late quarter-final match winner in Vancouver last week.

For their semi-final rematch with los Pumas Sevens, Niall Comerford set the tone with an early turnover penalty. Ireland tested Argentina’s swarming defence with some neat offloading, and skip passes from Billy Dardis and Gavin Mullin.

There was no breakthrough, though, and Isgro seized a fifth-minute lead for his team, angling his run onto an inviting Joaquin Pellandini pass to go in behind the posts.

Ireland, the second best third place finishers across the pools, wasted little time in responding, initially advancing from a penalty.

Conroy had a cut at Moneta, and then on the opposite wing, Chay Mullins beat Luciano Gonzalez. The supporting Comerford was hauled down short before Terry Kennedy swatted away Pellandini to score.

Nonetheless, a power-packed attack from Argentina gave them a 14-5 advantage at half-time. Santiago Mare was the try scorer out wide on the left, with Pellandini drilling over a pinpoint conversion for good measure.

Having beaten Ireland five times in a row, stretching back to last season’s London leg, the south Americans would have been confident of extending that run. The injury-enforced loss of big ball carrier Gonzalez was a setback, though.

Ireland drew them back towards halfway after a loose Moneta pass, and Isgro’s dangerous clearout on Comerford resulted in referee Jérémy Rozier brandishing his yellow card.

Argentina were down to five players soon after, as Osadczuk was sin-binned for a late tackle on Mullin after he had kicked through into the opposition 22. Roche sniped off the resulting scrum and passed wide for Conroy to pull back five points.

McNulty then came up trumps at the breakdown with a penalty win. Kennedy took it quickly and Roche, put into space by passes from replacements Matthew McDonald and Connor O’Sullivan, slid over the line to edge Ireland in front for the first time.

Roche’s conversion was followed by the return of Isgro and Osadczuk, but McNulty got up to steal a lineout and it was Conroy who wrapped up the result. He slipped out of Moneta’s tackle and narrowly avoided the right touchline to gleefully raid over from 80 metres out.

You can watch all of the HSBC SVNS Series matches for free on RugbyPass TV, while there will be coverage of Ireland’s progress in California across the new @Ireland7s social media channels, and in our Ireland Sevens hub:

IRELAND MEN’S SEVENS Squad (HSBC SVNS Series – Los Angeles 7s, Dignity Health Sports Park, Los Angeles, Friday, March 1-Sunday, March 3, 2024):

Niall Comerford (UCD RFC)
Jordan Conroy (Buccaneers RFC)
Sean Cribbin (Suttonians RFC)
Billy Dardis (Terenure College RFC)
Ed Kelly (Dublin University FC)
Terry Kennedy (St. Mary’s College RFC)
Mark Roche (Lansdowne FC)
Matthew McDonald (Ireland Sevens)
Harry McNulty (UCD RFC) (capt)
Gavin Mullin (UCD RFC)
Chay Mullins (Galway Corinthians RFC/Connacht/IQ Rugby)
Connor O’Sullivan (Lansdowne FC)
Zac Ward (Ballynahinch RFC)

IRELAND MEN’S SEVENS Schedule – HSBC SVNS Series – Los Angeles:

Friday, March 1 –


IRELAND 17 SOUTH AFRICA 0, Dignity Health Sports Park
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Connor O’Sullivan, Zac Ward 2; Con: Ed Kelly
South Africa: –
HT: Ireland 17 South Africa 0

Team: Zac Ward, Connor O’Sullivan, Harry McNulty (capt), Ed Kelly, Sean Cribbin, Gavin Mullin, Jordan Conroy.

Replacements used: Billy Dardis, Matthew McDonald, Terry Kennedy, Niall Comerford, Chay Mullins.

Day 1 Round-Up: Ireland Men Start LA 7s Campaign With Three-Try Victory

Saturday, March 2 –


IRELAND 14 SPAIN 19, Dignity Health Sports Park
Scorers: Ireland: Tries: Jordan Conroy, Chay Mullins; Cons: Billy Dardis, Mark Roche
Spain: Tries: Eduardo Lopez, Francisco Cosculluela, Jaime Manteca; Cons: Nicolas Nieto, Juan Ramos
HT: Ireland 7 Spain 7

Team: Chay Mullins, Niall Comerford, Harry McNulty (capt), Billy Dardis, Sean Cribbin, Terry Kennedy, Jordan Conroy.

Replacements used: Gavin Mullin, Mark Roche, Connor O’Sullivan, Matthew McDonald. Not used: Ed Kelly.

ARGENTINA 26 IRELAND 14, Dignity Health Sports Park
Scorers: Argentina: Tries: Marcos Moneta, Penalty try, Santiago Alvarez, Matteo Graziano; Cons: Joaquin Pellandini, Pen try con, Tobias Wade
Ireland: Tries: Matthew McDonald, Terry Kennedy; Cons: Mark Roche, Billy Dardis
HT: Argentina 14 Ireland 7

Team: Matthew McDonald, Connor O’Sullivan, Harry McNulty (capt), Mark Roche, Sean Cribbin, Gavin Mullin, Ed Kelly.

Replacements used: Terry Kennedy, Jordan Conroy, Niall Comerford, Billy Dardis, Chay Mullins.


ARGENTINA 14 IRELAND 24, Dignity Health Sports Park
Scorers: Argentina: Tries: Rodrigo Isgro, Santiago Mare; Cons: Santiago Mare, Joaquin Pellandini
Ireland: Tries: Terry Kennedy, Jordan Conroy 2, Mark Roche; Cons: Mark Roche 2
HT: Argentina 14 Ireland 5

Team: Harry McNulty (capt), Niall Comerford, Chay Mullins, Billy Dardis, Gavin Mullin, Terry Kennedy, Jordan Conroy.

Replacements used: Mark Roche, Matthew McDonald, Connor O’Sullivan. Not used: Sean Cribbin, Ed Kelly.

Sunday, March 3 –


FRANCE v IRELAND, Dignity Health Sports Park, 2.08pm local time/10.08pm Irish time

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