Updated at 18.30
IT WAS A day to forget for Joe Schmidt’s side but it proved to be a day to remember for our national sevens men’s team.
Anthony Eddy’s charges topped Group A with three wins from three — against Zimbabwe, Samoa and Tonga — in the Olympic qualifying event in Monaco today to keep their hopes of going to Rio alive.
Eddy’s side began their day with an impressive 24-12 victory against Zimbabwe but it was their second result of the day that really caught the eye, especially with a spot at the Olympics at stake for tomorrow’s overall winner.
Samoa, one of the favourites for the tournament in the principality and winners of the Sevens World Series leg in Paris last month, were dispatched by Ireland 27-21 earlier this afternoon.
The Pacific Island nation were the top seeds in a difficult group but Ireland came into the tournament on the back of a win in the first leg of the Rugby Europe Trophy competition in Sweden last weekend.
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The impressive Irish side then completed a successful day at the office with a 31-12 win against Tonga, to cement their spot at the top of the pool ahead of the playoffs tomorrow.