Ireland’s men’s sevens side will have to see off Kenya in their last pool game at the Tokyo Stadium in the early hours of Tuesday morning (kick-off 3am Irish time) if they are to make it into the tournament semi-finals.
Anthony Eddy’s side had already lost convincingly to South Africa in their opening game on Monday morning and they followed it up with a 19-17 defeat to the USA at the same venue half-a-dozen hours later.
However, eight of the 12 teams progress through from the three groups and a defeat of the Kenyans could yet be enough for the Irish to extend their interest in what is their first involvement at Olympic level.
The USA dominated the early exchanges, just as South Africa had done, and they too had a try claimed, via Perry Barker, before an Irish player had even touched the ball. A 7-0 deficit was doubled when Madison Hughes made Ireland pay for a failure to collect the restart.
Hugo Lennox found a reply to leave it 12-5 at the break.
Harry McNulty found his mark to reduce the deficit to just two points before the USA took the game out of sight with a third try, this one coming from Steve Tomasin. A late consolation from Foster Horan followed.
“I don’t think that game reflects how we actually play,” said Jordan Conroy. “Yeah, it’s a bit frustrating, a bit annoying at times. I think we have a lot more to give, so I think we just need to shift our focus now onto tomorrow against Kenya and see what we need to do and just execute it.
“Tomorrow is the big one for us now, so all eyes on that. We play these teams in the World Series. They’re nothing new to us. We know we have to do our job in order to beat these, we just didn’t do it today.”