The Ireland Men’s and Women’s teams provided an auspicious opening to the France Sevens tournament at the Stade Ernest-Wallon in Toulouse in winning their respective opening matches in 30-degree temperature.
Ireland captain Lucy Mulhall produced a brilliant individual display, crossing for a hat-trick of tries against England in a comprehensive 31-12 success. The Wicklow native also kicked three conversions for a personal tally of 21 points. Two further tries from Amee-Leigh Murphy Crowe and Eve Higgins underlined a comprehensive victory.
Ireland are hoping to climb past the USA in what is the final tournament on the World Sevens for them this season – they Men’s team go to London next week – and in doing so claim third place in the overall standings.
The Ireland Men’s team had never beaten South Africa in a Sevens tournament but broke that duck in impressive fashion with a 21-12 success against Neil Powell’s Blitzboks. Despite conceding an early try to Mfundo Ndhlovu, they took the lead with a try from the outstanding Terry Kennedy, the recently crowned Irish Sevens player of the year, and a lung bursting long range effort from Jack Kelly.
Irish captain Billy Dardis converted both to give his side a 14-7 lead but Siviwe Soyizwapi’s unconverted effort narrowed the gap to 14-12 before a second try from Kennedy, with Dardis adding the extras, guaranteed that first ever win.