Sin-binning costs Ireland Sevens dearly

A crucial yellow card for Leinster flanker Niall Ronan saw Ireland's young Sevens side collapse to a 24-19 Bowl semi-final defeat to Canada at today's IRB South Africa Sevens in George.

A crucial yellow card for Leinster flanker Niall Ronan saw Ireland's young Sevens side collapse to a 24-19 Bowl semi-final defeat to Canada at today's IRB South Africa Sevens in George.

Ronan was sin-binned in the second half as the Irish led 19-7 and defensive errors saw Canada's Marco Di Girolamo, Ryan Smith and Justin Mensah-Coker get in for late tries.

Earlier, 23-year-old Ronan, Ballymena back row Michael McComish and Dolphin scrum-half Tomas O'Leary - notching his fifth try in five games at the Durban tournament - all touched down to cancel out a Dave Moonlight effort for Canada, but it proved not enough.

In their Bowl quarter-final, former Ireland Under 21 O'Leary scored twice as Ryan Constable's side kicked off the morning with an encouraging 29-17 win over Portugal.

With six of his 12-man squad having earned their first experience of international Sevens, and scored 17 tries on their South African leg, ex-Ulster centre Constable was already looking forward to next March's Hong Kong World Cup.

"The last fortnight has been a great learning experience for the players, and hopefully we can continue the upward curve towards Hong Kong," said the 33-year-old.

"They more than matched the likes of Australia and England in the Pool games yesterday, but we couldn't hold onto early leads - as was the case against Canada. It's certainly frustrating as a coach, but it shows that the promise is there, and we certainly have something to build on with the squad."

Results: IRB South Africa Sevens, George:

Bowl Semi final:

Ireland 19 Canada 24

Bowl Quarter final:

Portugal 17 Ireland 29

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