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Ireland and Great Britain prepare to clash in meaningful Singapore semi

By Finn Morton
Great Britain's Robbie Fergusson carries the ball at SVNS Singapore. Picture: World Rugby.

Ireland and Great Britain are just two wins away from a potentially season-defining result after overcoming tough opposition on Saturday to progress through to the Singapore semi-finals.

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With just one more day of play left in the SVNS regular season, the Irish have a chance of claiming the League Winners title while Great Britain are hoping to secure a place in the Series’ Grand Final.

Either one of these outcomes will become a reality or neither of them will with the two neighbouring northern hemisphere nations set to go head-to-head in a blockbuster knockout clash on Sunday.

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The Irish started their quest for Cup final glory with a win over GB in their first match, but losses to the USA and Fiji saw the men in green finish third in Pool C, but it was enough to progress.

Ireland qualified for the Cup quarters as one of the top-two ranked third-placed sides in pool play and they certainly made the most of their redeeming opportunity with a 21-5 win over Argentina.

Los Pumas Sevens have been the form men’s team on the SVNS Series all season, which has included three triumphs in four finals appearances, and they would’ve secured the League title with a win.

But the Irish aren’t getting ahead of themselves as they still need to win the tournament and hope that Argentina finish no higher than sixth on a mammoth day three at SVNS SGP.

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“It feels pretty good. We know that’s there but we don’t want to focus too much on that because if goes down to what Argentina do,” Ireland’s Mark Roche told RugbyPass

“We’re just gonna go out and play a semi-final, get to the final hopefully and do it from there.

“There was a lot of courage, bravery, just getting out, getting physical, being smart about what we do on the field in defence and attack,” he added.

“Hopefully everything comes together.”

Ireland may have beaten Great Britain in pool play but this is a team fighting for a place in the top eight which would both secure them a spot in Madrid’s Grand Final and in next year’s Series.

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Great Britain, who finished as the runners-up behind France in the Los Angeles leg of the Series earlier this season, came up against their familiar foe in a one-sided quarter-final on Saturday.

Jordan Sepho gave France the lead with a try in the second minute but to the surprise of many, Great Britain took control by piling on 35 unanswered points to book their ticket to the next round.

Morgan Williams, Robbie Fergusson, Harry Glover, Max McFarland and Will Homer all scored tries, while Kaleem Barreto kicked five conversions on what could be a famous night for GB Sevens.

“We went into Hong Kong saying that we had a little title race with the USA and the bottom is really where it’s at, at the moment,” Barreto told this website.

“To be honest, coming into Singapore the goal isn’t necessarily to be in that top eight, although that would be sweet… for us, it’s just about backing (up) game on game.

“We had probably a slower build-up (this season) probably just having little contact time compared to pretty much everyone on the Series,” he added.

“We knew we’d be building and progressing… we knew we had it in us, just not at the start.

“I guess it is annoying to be at this stage because we really do think we belong in that top eight, top five to go forward. We’re showing it now.”

Catch up on all the latest SVNS Series action from the 2023/24 season on RugbyPass TV. SVNS Singapore is live and free to watch, all you need to do is sign up HERE.

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