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01st Jun 2024

Hugo Keenan scores but Ireland left disappointed at Madrid Sevens

Ronan Calvert

Hugo Keenan

Keenan made his return to the sevens world.

The Irish Sevens team warmed up for the Olympics with an outing at this weekend’s Madrid Sevens.

The team was boosted by the presence of Hugo Keenan, who returns to sevens after a special few years with Leinster and Ireland in the fifteens game.

Keenan has decided to withdraw from Leinster’s URC knockout stage efforts to pursue the chance to play at July’s Olympic Games in Paris.

Ireland impressed across the two days, first by beating South Africa on Friday and then by only losing out narrowly to Olympic Champions Fiji on Saturday morning.

That 26-21 defeat meant that Ireland needed to beat New Zealand on Saturday afternoon to progress, which was never going to be a straightforward task.

Ireland found themselves level at 17-17 courtesy of a Keenan try, but a missed conversion opened the door for New Zealand to snatch a ‘golden point’ winner and effectively put a full stop to Ireland’s ambitions.

The Irish women’s side faced a similar fate as they beat Fiji but couldn’t secure all-important results against Australia or France.

Both teams will compete for minor places in their respective competitions tomorrow.

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