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Famous Five: Ireland v England

Famous Five: Ireland v England

Ireland and England have endured plenty of ding-dong battles over the years – we take a look at just a few of the green-tinged results, from the 1948 Grand Slam through to last season.

Ireland and England have endured plenty of ding-dong battles over the years – we take a look at just a few of the green-tinged results, from the 1948 Grand Slam through to last season.

February 1948: ‘Mullen’s Men On The March’ England 10 Ireland 11, Twickenham Scorers: England: Tries: Dickie Guest 2; Cons: Richard Uren 2 Ireland: Tries: Jack Kyle, Bill McKay, William McKee; Con: Barney Mullan

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If Ireland’s current crop are to assume the mantle of being the greatest side of all-time, then they have some way to surpass the glory-getters of 1948.

Driven on by the will of hooker and captain Karl Mullen, France had already been surmounted on a chilly New Year’s Day in Paris.

Valentine’s Day in west London, and there was no love lost between the near-neighbours. With Hugh De Lacey now Jack Kyle’s half-back partner, Ireland outscored their hosts by three tries to one – but two successful conversions of Dickie Guest tries saw England go close.

Trivia: Ireland clinched their only Grand Slam so far in their next game – a 6-3 defeat of Wales in front a 30,000-strong Ravenhill crowd. Two Championships in the next three seasons also followed for Mullen’s side.

IRELAND: John Mattsson; Bertie O’Hanlon, William McKee, Patrick Reid, Barney Mullan; Jack Kyle, Hugh De Lacey; John Daly, Karl Mullen (Capt), Albert McConnell, Colm Callan, Jimmy Nelson, Bill McKay, James McCarthy, Des O’Brien.

HT: 5-5; Referee: Trevor Jones (Wales)

February 1982: ‘The Year Of The Ginger’ England 15 Ireland 16, Twickenham Scorers: England: Try: Mike Slemen; Con: Marcus Rose; Pens: Rose 3 Ireland: Tries: Hugo MacNeill, Gerard ‘Ginger’ McLoughlin; Con: Ollie Campbell; Pens: Campbell 2

If Twickenham ’82 is always remember for Ginger McLoughlin’s bullocking drive into the right corner for Ireland’s second try, then the Championship belonged to fly-half Ollie Campbell.

He kicked a haul of 46 points – an even more impressive tally when you consider that Tom Kiernan’s side won the Championship with just 66 points for.

Having watched his 20-year-old nephew Michael make his debut in the previous match – a 20-12 defeat of Wales, postponed for a week in Dublin for heavy snow – Kiernan knew Twickenham was vital to his side’s chances.

Full-back Hugo MacNeill’s try helped them go in at the break 10-3 in front, and although Mike Slemen replied for the home side late on, the Irish were not to be denied.

In between, prop McLoughlin had barged over with a little help from his friends, and Campbell’s brilliantly-curled touchline conversion was essentially the difference between the sides.

Trivia: England were minus captain Bill Beaumont for the clash, due to a kick to the head he had received playing for Lanchasire a few days prior. It is also interesting to note that the son of England’s 1982 try scorer Mike Slemen – David – is currently contracted to Connacht.

IRELAND: Hugo MacNeill; Trevor Ringland, Michael Kiernan, Paul Dean, Moss Finn; Ollie Campbell, Robbie McGrath; Phil Orr, Ciaran Fitzgerald (Capt), Gerard McLoughlin, Moss Keane, Donal Lenihan, Fergus Slattery, Willie Duggan, John O’Driscoll. Replacements: John Cantrell, Mick Fitzpatrick, Ronan Kearney, Kevin O’Regan, John Hewitt, John Murphy.

HT: 3-10; Referee: Allan Hosie (Scotland)

February 1994: ‘Geoghegan’s Glory’ England 12 Ireland 13, Twickenham Scorers: England: Pens: Jonathan Callard 4 Ireland: Try: Simon Geoghegan; Con: Eric Elwood; Pens: Elwood 2

Ireland went into the 1994 Five Nations with a 43.70% win percentage in the past 84 years of the competition. A statistic which has been much improved since, but it is still interesting to note last season’s win over England was still the men-in-green’s first for ten years.

The images of a blonde-topped Simon Geoghegan haring in at the left corner for the only try of the ’94 meeting, still burn bright.

Gerry Murphy’s men – who finished the Championship just ahead of wooden spoonists Scotland – picked up a first Irish win in London for 12 years, on one piece of Geoghegan magic.

The tricky winger – then of London Irish – went on a brilliant, shimmying run outside Tony Underwood and past the last-gasp tackle of Jonathan Callard to leave the visitors with a 10-6 half-time buffer.

“Beating England at Twickenham in 1994 was much the greater achievement than our victory a year earlier at Lansdowne Road” said Geoghegan, at the time.

“In 1993, we dominated the English pack and thoroughly deserved a 17-3 win. In ’94, we deserved to win again but not to the same extent. But its always an important victory if the Celtic sides topple England and doing so in consecutive seasons, was quite something. You can imagine the buzz we got from winning a game like that, it was phenomenal.”

Trivia: Geoghegan – who earned his last of 37 caps against England in ’96, at the age of 27 – scored his sixth Test try that day. His five-year career was curtailed by a toe injury.

IRELAND: Conor O’Shea; Richard Wallace, Maurice Field, Philip Danaher, Simon Geoghegan; Eric Elwood, Michael Bradley (Capt); Nick Popplewell, Terry Kingston, Peter Clohessy, Mick Galwey, Neil Francis, Paddy Johns, Denis McBride, Brian Robinson. Replacements: Keith Wood, Gary Halpin, Rob Saunders, Alan McGowan, Ciaran Clarke, Ken O’Connell.

HT: 6-10; Referee: Patrick Thomas (France)

October 2001: ‘Green October’ Ireland 20 England 14, Lansdowne Road Scorers: Ireland: Try: Keith Wood; Pens: David Humphreys 3, Ronan O’Gara 2 England: Try: Austin Healy; Pens: Jonny Wilkinson 3

Warren Gatland’s Ireland robbed England of a potential Grand Slam for the third time in three years – following in the foot steps of Wales (’99) and Scotland (’00) – in the infamous ‘foot-and-mouth’ Championship.

Ireland – inspired by a fine try from the talismanic Keith Wood and roared on by the Lansdowne Road faithful, were behind only once and never looked back once Wood had powered over on the quarter-hour.

David Humphreys kicked three early penalties for a 14-6 lead, and substitute Ronan O’Gara saw Gatland’s crew home, despite Austin Healy’s 77th-minute effort.

Clive Woodward’s England picked up the Six Nations title, but it was Ireland’s day as they bagged a crucial 18 turnovers to the visitors’ six, and went through 111 tackles as against 69.

Trivia: Captain Wood dubbed it one of the ‘ugliest crowds on record at an international’ – what was he talking about? Well, Guinness managed to produce 10,000 Keith Wood face masks for 2001’s tie. Dublin has never seen the like since!

IRELAND: Girvan Dempsey; Shane Horgan, Brian O’Driscoll, Kevin Maggs, Denis Hickie; David Humphreys, Peter Stringer; Peter Clohessy, Keith Wood (Capt), John Hayes, Mick Galwey, Malcolm O’Kelly, Eric Miller, David Wallace, Anthony Foley. Replacements: Frankie Sheahan, Emmett Byrne, Trevor Brennan, Kieran Dawson, Guy Easterby, Ronan O’Gara, Mike Mullins.

HT: 11-6; Referee: Paul Honiss (New Zealand)

March 2004: ‘England’s Run At An End’ England 13 Ireland 19, Twickenham Scorers: England: Try: Matt Dawson; Con: Paul Grayson; Pens: Grayson 2 Ireland: Try: Girvan Dempsey; Con: Ronan O’Gara; Pens: O’Gara 4

An afternoon not likely to be forgotten for a long time – with Girvan Dempsey’s 52nd-minute try setting Eddie O’Sullivan’s side up for a Triple Crown tilt at Scotland later in the month.

It was the pitch-perfect kicking of fly-half Ronan O’Gara too, which delivered on the promise of this young Irish side. He clipped over four penalties and a conversion of Dempsey’s effort – having missed a straight-forward penalty chance on 4 minutes.

The result also rubber-stamped Gordon D’Arcy’s place in the side, as he outshone his more-vaunted midfielder partner Brian O’Driscoll – who nonetheless, got through a tireless amount of work in the loose.

The victory saw Woodward’s England defeated for the first time in 23 home games – a record stretching back to 1999.

Trivia: Dempsey, Anthony Foley and record caps holder Malcolm O’Kelly will be lining out for the seventh time in a Test against England on Sunday. If Ulster fly-half David Humphreys gets on off the bench, it will be his ninth appearance.

IRELAND: Girvan Dempsey; Shane Horgan, Gordon D’Arcy, Brian O’Driscoll (Capt), Tyrone Howe; Ronan O’Gara, Peter Stringer; Reggie Corrigan, Shane Byrne, John Hayes, Malcolm O’Kelly, Paul O’Connell, Simon Easterby, Keith Gleeson, Anthony Foley. Replacements: Frankie Sheahan, Simon Best, Gary Longwell, Victor Costello, David Humphreys, Guy Easterby, Kevin Maggs.

HT: 10-12; Referee: Paul Honiss (New Zealand)