Ireland saw their hopes of a consolation victory in the World Cup Sevens Bowl ended with a 33-12 semi-final defeat by Portugal in Argentina. The Irish conceded five tries against the fresher Portuguese, Ireland replying through Dungannon's Aiden Kearney and Conor McPhillips of St Mary's College. The scores brought Ireland to within two points of Portugal, who had raced into 14-point lead, but their opponents responded with three tries to progress to the final.

Coach Denis McBride, who had Matt Mostyn sidelined from the semi with dehydration, admitted: "We ran out of steam. It's been a long tournament and this was just one game too many. But I could not have asked more from the boys. They have given their all. But we have not got things right at sevens though this weekend has been a valuable learning experience."

Earlier, Ireland qualified for the semi-finals after they looked set for a surprise defeat but recovered from 12 points down against Chinese Taipei to steal a 24-19 victory. The Irish had missed out on a place in the secondary event - the Plate - after losing their final group game to Russia on Saturday.

In the tournament final Jonah Lomu grabbed a try hat-trick as New Zealand were crowned World Cup Sevens champions with a 31-12 destruction of Australia.

Filed by Seán Folan