Ireland’s World Sevens Series hopes in San Francisco were blown apart by heavy beatings for both men’s and women’s teams.
This competition is being played on a straight knock-out basis, normally the first round is a group stage, and both sides recorded encouraging wins to advance.
But in the early hours of Friday night Irish time the women’s team were hammered 45-0 by New Zealand in the quarter-finals, while the men were trounced 45-7 by South Africa in the round of 16.
The men’s team opened up with a 17-12 win over Chile, Hugo Keenan, Billy Dardis and James Leo O’Brien touching down for tries.
But they were overpowered by the Springboks, who are ranked number one in the world in sevens rugby and were pre-tournament favourites.
The South Africans led 19-0 at half-time and only a Terry Kennedy try converted by Keenan prevented a complete whitewash.
Hopes were high for the women after their brilliant 19-14 win over England in their first game with Ashleigh Baxter getting a try and Amee Leigh Murphy Crowe crossing the line twice.
There was a significant step-up in class in the quarter-final though and Ireland found themselves 26-0 down at the break on their way to a 45-point beating.
The women’s team now take on Russia in the fifth-to-eighth place play-off, kick-off in that one is just before 7pm Irish time.
The next assignment for the men is a challenge quarter-final against Kenya, which starts shortly after 10pm Irish time.