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McBride's flops caught at sixes and Sevens.

Ireland paid a heavy price for some untypical half-hearted tackling as their Rugby World Cup Sevens hopes suffered a severe mauling in Hong Kong yesterday.

Denis McBride's men slumped to defeats by Argentina and South Africa despite making a dream start with two Richard Wallace tries in the first two minutes of their opening game. But then poor tackling allowed Argentina to grab a 31-22 win - and dent Irish hopes of repeating their 1993 semi- final appearance.

And things got worse as they conceded six tries in a 38-5 rout by the Springboks.

Ireland face another stern test against South Africa tomorrow in the battle for quarter-final qualification, with hosts Hong Kong also in their group.

"We are very disappointed," said Malone forward McBride, whose side were eventually seeded 18th out of 24.

"I thought we'd have beaten Argentina and we got a great start. Then we missed some tackles and it cost us, while South Africa were just too strong. But the good thing about this tournament is that we've got another chance. It's up to us to take it."

Denis Hickie and David Humphreys also scored tries against Argentina, but Eric Miller was the only Irishman to trouble the scorers against South Africa, for whom Bobby Skinstad plundered a hat-trick.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 22, 1997
Words:212
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