DAVETA, of Fiji, won the inaugural Limerick World Club 7s title at Thomond Park on Sunday as Munster claimed a seventh placed finish at the well-attended event.
Twelve top provincial and club sides from both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres competed in the two-day feast of 7s rugby which attracted thousands of rugby fans.
Munster, who had beaten Daveta in the pool stages of the competition on Saturday, lost out to the eventual winners, 10-12, at the quarter-final stage. The home side went on to claim a seventh place finish beating the Blue Bulls.
Up to 10,000 spectators turned out to watch a thrilling day of 7s action on Saturday, while the day two attendance was also impressive with several thousands fans attended.
While Munster 7s coach, Colm McMahon was disappointed to exit the Cup at the last eight stage, he can be pleased with how the team acquitted itself, especially in coming through Pool C with three wins.
“We learned a little bit in the first game on Saturday. Credit to the players, they realised very quickly what was required and brought it into the remaining pool games.
“We have a mix of professional players and Academy guys there, maybe two or three steps away from being a professional player. Most of the guys have been involved in Munster teams all the way up. We knew we had a good group and they brought a lot of pride into the Munster jersey.”
Among the players to impress for Munster was try-scoring Academy member Stephen Fitzgerald, who played for Ardscoil Ris in this year’s Munster Schools Senior Cup final.
Colm McMahon said: “Stephen Fitzgerald is a very good athlete, a very good footballer. He has a lot of natural, raw ability.
“To me, it seemed like the crowd enjoyed it despite the weather on Saturday evening. Hopefully it will grow. We had a real sporting, Thomond Park crowd in. They supported the teams all the way.”
Munster’s 7s captain Ronan O’Mahony said: “It was a small bit of the unknown for us, but everyone bought into it. The coaches gave us great guidance. This is only the first year. The crowd and buying into it and so are the players. We are looking to make this a big event every year.”
Munster will be keeping their fingers crossed that the injuries picked up by Van den Heever, Luke O’Dea and Shane Buckley over the weekend don’t prove serious.
Terry Burwell, Tournament Director, added; “The Limerick World Club 7s has been a great success and the standard of rugby on show has been fantastic.
“We were thrilled to have Munster take part and it was a great opportunity for local fans to see some of the terrific talent that is coming through the province.
“I’d like to thank Limerick city for embracing the tournament we’re already looking forward to next year’s event.”
Munster 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, Mark Roche, Rossa Dooley, Ollie Clough.
day 1 results
Auckland 29 New York 0; Saracens 10 Vodacom Bulls 7; Vodacom Bulls 33 New York 14; Auckland 22 Saracens 5; New York 28 Saracens 5; Vodacom Bulls 12 Auckland 5
Vancouver Bears 19 NSW Waratahs 15; DHL Western Province 12 Stade Francais 0; Vancouver Bears 24 Stade Francais 0; DHL Western Province 26 NSW Waratahs 19; DHL Western Province 15 Vancouver Bears 0; NSW Waratahs 19 Stade Francais 19
Munster 17 San Francisco 7; Daveta (Fiji) 19 Moscow Saracens 19; Munster 21Moscow Saracens 12; Daveta (Fiji) 33 San Francisco 7; Moscow Saracens 24 San Francisco 0; Munster 17 Daveta (Fiji) 5
day 2 results
Auckland bt Moscow Saracens 28-7; Daveta (Fiji) bt Munster 12-10; Vancouver bt Blue Bulls 10-0; Western Province bt New York 19-5
11th/12th Match – Stade Francais v San Francisco 19-14
Daveta (Fiji) bt Auckland 26-17; Vancouver bt Western Province 26-19
Daveta (Fiji) bt Vancouver 36-12
10th-11th place: Saracens bt Stade Francais 19-12; 9th-12th place – Waratahs bt San Francisco 29-0
Shield Final – Warathas v Saracens 24-19; Plate Semi-Final – Moscow Saracens bt Munster 33-10; Plate Semi-Final – New York bt Blue Bulls 15-14; 7th/8th Match – Munster bt Blue Bulls 24-19; Plate Final – Moscow Saracens bt New York 38-5; 3rd/4th Match – Auckland bt Western Province 28-14