Ireland lost by the slimmest of margins earlier today
Ireland took on Poland in the Crossover game following the group stage of their European Qualifying campaign in Skien, Norway. Unfortunately, technical issues with the live stream made viewing difficult and virtually impossible to keep up with the flow of the game.
Similar to how the first half played out in the final group game against Sweden, neither team was able to pull out much of an advantage in the first half of the game. The teams traded blows with two points being the biggest lead held by either side. The first quarter ended with a buzzer-beating try for Poland, giving them a one-point lead at the break. The second quarter was as end-to-end as the first, with Poland slightly extending their lead at the four-minute mark. The lead stayed like this until the final minute when Ireland bridged the gap, reducing the Polish advantage to just one.
The intensity of the game continued into the third quarter. Poland managed to extend their lead to two points within the first minute, a gap they’d maintain for the next five minutes. Ireland levelled things up with 2:47 left of the clock, and the teams swapped the lead for the remainder of the quarter. The third finished with the sides all square at 36-36.
Ireland scored within ten seconds of the fourth quarter starting, then forced a turnover soon after. Poland soon levelled; the teams tied at 38-38 with seven minutes remaining in the game. Poland took a foothold in the game at the six-minute mark after two Irish turnovers in quick succession, and gradually extended the lead over the next two minutes, holding a 45-40 advantage with four minutes left on the clock. Poland managed this lead for the rest of the game, using the shot-clock to their advantage, stifling any attempt Ireland made to build up some momentum. Poland turned to ball over twice in the final minute, but the five points was to prove insurmountable with the game eventually finishing 48-46 in favour of the Poles.