THE Munster Rugby 7s side set up a Sunday lunchtime quarter-final meeting with Pool C opponents Daveta, of Fiji, at Thomond Park after winning each of their three group games in the inaugural Limerick World Club 7s today.
Munster were ranked second of the eight quarter-finalists following their 100% record in the pool stages and will face Daveta for the second time in less than 24 hours when they lock horns in the second of the quarter-finals at 12.59pm on Sunday.
The Colm McMahon-coached Munster side defeated Daveta in their final pool game, 17-5, to secure top spot in their pool and ensure their place in the Cup quarter-final.
Munster had a brace of tries from Darren Sweetnam and one from Shannon’s Luke O’Dea, his second of the day.
Up to 10,00 spectators turned out to the see the opening day of the two-day feast of 7s rugby action. Play was halted for about 45 minutes late in the afternoon as a result of torrential rain, thunder and lightning. Munster’s final game with Daveta was one of four pool games to be played when played was stopped due to the heavy rain.
Earlier in the day, which had been largely warm and sunny, Munster had claimed a 21-12 victory in their second Pool C game against Moscow Saracens.
The home side led 14-0 thanks to early tries from Shannon’s Luke O’Dea and team captain Ronan O’Mahony, of Garryowen FC.
After the break Munster lost their influential winger Gerhard van den Heever to knee injury. Munster’s win was wrapped up with a smashing individual third try from Stephen Fitzgerald. The Academy star played at Thomond Park for Ardscoil Ris in the Munster Schools Senior Cup final just last March.
Early indications were that Van den Heever’s injury is not serious although the South African speedster was not involved in the province’s final Pool C game.
Munster opened their Pool C campaign earlier in the day with a comfortable 17-7 with over San Francisco with tries from Ronan O’Mahony, his Garryowen clubmate Shane Buckley and Rory Scannell.
Elsewhere, Auckland showed why they were tagged as tournament favourites as they topped Pool A with wins over New York and Saracens. Despite losing their opening match to Saracens, South Africa’s Blue Bulls charged back with wins over New York and Auckland to claim second spot. Vancouver Bears proved to be the surprise package of the day with wins over New South Wales Waratahs and Stade Francais to emerge from Pool B along with DHL Western Province from South Africa, who topped the group with three wins.
The action kicks off tomorrow, Sunday, in Thomond Park from 11.50am with a series of play-offs along with the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final. The action will run right through the day until the final at 5.50pm. To add to the entertainment, permission has been granted for the All-Ireland hurling semi-final between Limerick and Kilkenny to be shown on a big screen in the entertainment zone outside the stadium. Tickets for the Limerick World Club 7s final day start at €15 and are available at the stadium.
Mnster 7s Squad: Cian Bohane, Shane Buckley, Stephen Fitzgerald, Jamie Glynn, Ned Hodson, Ryan Murphy, Luke O’Dea, Ronan O’Mahony Capt, Tomás Quinlan, Rory Scannell, Darren Sweetnam, Gerhard van den Heever.
Day One Results
• Auckland bt New York 29-0
• Saracens bt Vodacom Bulls 10-7
• Vodacom Bulls bt New York 33-14
• Auckland bt Saracens 22-5
• New York bt Saracens 28-5
• Vodacom Bulls bt Auckland 12-5
• Vancouver Bears bt NSW Waratahs 19-15
• DHL Western Province bt Stade Francais 12-0
• Vancouver Bears bt Stade Francais 24-0
• DHL Western Province bt NSW Waratahs 26-19
• DHL Western Province bt Vancouver Bears 15-0
• Nsw Waratahs drew with Stade Francais 19-19
• Munster Rugby bt San Francisco 17-7
• Daveta (Fiji) drew with Moscow Saracens 19-19
• Munster bt Moscow Saracens 21-12
• Daveta (Fiji) bt San Francisco 33-7
• Moscow Saracens bt San Francisco 24-0
• Munster bt Daveta (Fiji) 17-5