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Thread: Ireland - Background Info ahead of the Weekend Encounter with Wallabies

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    Legend Contributor Thequeerone's Avatar
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    Ireland - Background Info ahead of the Weekend Encounter with Wallabies

    From a press release by the ARU:
    National Emblem: The Shamrock
    Home Union: Ireland Rugby Football Union
    Founded: 1881
    Rugby World Cup Record: Quarter-finalists 1987, 1991, 1995, 2003, Pool participants 1999, 2007
    Current IRB Ranking: 4
    Coach: Declan Kidney
    Captain: Brian O’Driscoll
    On the web:

    Ireland has not beaten the Qantas Wallabies in Australia for 30 years but the rivalry between the two nations has most definitely been a lot tighter through matches that have been played in the Emerald Isle. So much so that Australia has lost two (2002 & 2006) of its last three in Dublin, while the eventual tournament champions required a late try to escape from Lansdowne Road by one-point against Ireland in the dramatic 1991 Rugby World Cup quarter-final. Although Ireland have won Europe’s Triple Crown four times [2004, 2006, 2007 & 2009] against the three other Home (British) Unions in recent history and this year added to that a first Grand Slam since 1948, the feeling remains that the best has still to be seen of what is now a vastly experienced Ireland team.

    The Trophy – The Lansdowne Cup

    Established in 1999, the Lansdowne Cup was donated to the Australian Rugby Union by the Lansdowne Club of Sydney as a perpetual trophy for play between the Qantas Wallabies and Ireland. Like the Lansdowne Club, the Cup is named after Dublin’s famous Rugby ground and was designed and made by Waterford crystal of Ireland.

    The Last Meeting (in Australia) – Australia 18, Ireland 12, at Melbourne, June 14, 2008

    Australia regained the Lansdowne Cup and kicked off the Robbie Deans era with a win, but only after a hard-fought contest where each side scored two tries. It took just five minutes for Berrick Barnes to post the first Wallaby try of the year, but Ireland proved a tenacious opponent, keeping the result in the balance until the very end. Ireland captain Brian O’Driscoll scored the only try of the second spell to get the visitors to within six points, but they could close no further during a scoreless final 18 minutes. The win was the Wallabies’ ninth consecutive success against Ireland in home matches dating back to the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987, and came on a night where Luke Burgess, Peter Hynes and Dean Mumm all made their Test debuts.

    For Australia: Tries by Berrick Barnes and James Horwill; conversion and 2 penalty goals by Matt Giteau.
    For Ireland: Tries by Denis Leamy and Brian O’Driscoll; conversion by Ronan O’Gara.

    The Last Meeting (in Ireland) – Ireland 21, Australia 6 at Dublin, 19 November, 2006

    Ireland captured the Lansdowne Cup for just the second time, scoring the only two tries of a dour contest at Lansdowne Road. The home side led 15-3 at halftime and always controlled the match, restricting Australia to just a solitary penalty goal in each half. The win avenged a defeat in Perth earlier in the year, while handing John Connolly’s tourists their only loss from four on the 2006 Spring Tour.

    For Ireland: Tries by Denis Hickie and Geordan Murphy; conversion and 3 penalty goals by Ronan O’Gara.
    For Australia: 2 penalty goals by Stirling Mortlock.

    Australia v Ireland head-to-head record

    Year Winner Score Venue
    1927 Australia 5-3 Dublin
    1947 Australia 16-3 Dublin
    1958 Ireland 9-6 Dublin
    1967 Ireland 15-8 Dublin
    1967 Ireland 11-5 Sydney
    1968 Ireland 10-3 Dublin
    1976 Australia 20-10 Dublin
    1979 Ireland 27-12 Brisbane
    1979 Ireland 9-3 Sydney
    1981 Australia 16-12 Dublin
    1984 Australia 16-9 Dublin
    1987 Australia 33-15 Sydney*
    1991 Australia 19-18 Dublin*
    1992 Australia 42-17 Dublin
    1994 Australia 33-13 Brisbane
    1994 Australia 32-18 Sydney
    1996 Australia 22-12 Dublin
    1999 Australia 46-10 Brisbane
    1999 Australia 32-26 Perth
    1999 Australia 23-3 Dublin*
    2002 Ireland 18-9 Dublin
    2003 Australia 45-16 Perth
    2003 Australia 17-16 Melbourne*
    2005 Australia 30-14 Dublin
    2006 Australia 37-15 Perth
    2006 Ireland 21-6 Dublin
    2008 Australia 18-12 Melbourne
    * denotes RWC fixtures

    At All Venues: Australia 19 wins, Ireland 8 wins
    In Australia: Australia 9 wins, Ireland 3 wins
    In Ireland: Australia 10 wins, Ireland 5 wins
    At Neutral Venues: No instances

    Biggest Australian win (margin) at all venues: 36 (46-10), Brisbane, 1999
    Biggest Australian win (margin) in Ireland: 25 (42-17), Dublin, 1992

    Heaviest Australian defeat (margin) at all venues: 15 (12-27) Brisbane, 1979 & (6-21), Dublin, 2006
    Heaviest Australian defeat (margin) in Ireland: 15 (6-21), Dublin, 2006

    Biggest Australian winning score at all venues: 46 (46-10), Brisbane, 1999
    Biggest Australian winning score in Ireland: 42 (42-17), Dublin, 1992

    Heaviest Australian defeat (score) at all venues: 27 (12-27), Brisbane, 1979
    Heaviest Australian defeat (score) in Ireland: 21 (6-21), Dublin, 2006

    Most points scored by Australia at all venues: 46 (46-10), Brisbane, 1999
    Most points scored by Australian in Ireland: 42 (42-17), Dublin, 1992

    Most points conceded by Australia at all venues: 27 (12-27), Brisbane, 1979
    Most points conceded by Australia in Ireland: 21 (6-21), Dublin, 2006

    Most tries scored by Australia at all venues: 6, Brisbane 1999 & Perth 2003
    Most tries scored by Australia in Ireland: 5, Dublin, 1992

    Most tries conceded by Australia at all venues: 3, Perth 2003
    Most tries conceded by Australia in Ireland: 2 on four occasions

    Individual Player Statistics

    Most appearances by an Australian player against Ireland: 9, George Gregan, 1996-2006

    Most points in a Test by an Australian player against Ireland: 25, Elton Flatley, Perth, 2003

    Most points in a Test by an Irish player against Australia: 19, Ollie Campbell, Brisbane, 1979

    Most tries in a Test by an Australian player against Ireland: 3, Tiaan Strauss, Brisbane, 1999

    Most tries in a Test by an Irish player against Australia: 2, CS Patterson, Brisbane, 1979

    Most tries in a Test career by an Australian player against Ireland: 4, David Campese 1984-94 & Chris Latham 1999-2006

    Leading Australian Point-scorers against Ireland

    64 Michael Lynagh
    41 Matthew Burke
    34 Elton Flatley
    28 Paul Maclean

    Leading Point-scorers for Ireland against Australia

    58 Ronan O’Gara
    30 David Humphries
    28 Ollie Campbell

    Leading Australian Try-scorers against Ireland

    4 Chris Latham
    4 David Campese
    3 Tiaan Strauss
    3 Tim Horan
    3 George Gregan

    Most Australian Appearances against Ireland

    9 George Gregan
    7 David Wilson
    7 Matthew Burke
    7 George Smith

    Leading Try-scorers for Ireland against Australia

    2 CS Patterson
    2 Peter Clohessy
    2 Kevin Maggs
    2 Brian O’Driscoll

    Most Ireland Appearances against Australia

    8 Malcolm O’Kelly
    8 Brian O’Driscoll
    7 Keith Wood
    7 Girvan Dempsey
    7 Peter Stringer
    7 Ronan O’Gara

    General Trivia:

    The Man in charge: Declan Kidney won the 2007-08 Heineken (European) Cup with Munster prior to his appointment to succeed the long-serving Eddie O’Sullivan as coach of Ireland. Kidney is well known to Qantas Wallabies assistant-coach Jim Williams, who served as his assistant during Munster’s run to last year’s European Cup title. He also has plenty of Australian assistance around him, with ex-NSW coach Alan Gaffney and ex-North Sydney rugby league, NSW and South Africa defence coach Les Kiss on the staff. Kidney’s forwards coach is the former Stormers head coach and Springbok assistant Gert Smal.

    World Cup Combatants: Ireland and Australia have met in four of the six Rugby World Cup tournaments to date, including the quarter-finals of the 1987 and 1991 events. The two countries are scheduled to lock horns again in 2011 after having drawn alongside each other in Pool C for the tournament in New Zealand.

    Did you know?: In his eight previous Test appearances against Australia since 1999, Ireland captain Brian O’Driscoll has opposed four different centres – these being Daniel Herbert and Stirling Mortlock (three times apiece), Matthew Burke and Lote Tuqiri.

    The Aussie Influence: While Jim Williams may no longer be with Munster, the Australian influence in Irish rugby remains strong, with the national team, the reigning European champions, and among the other top provinces. Gaffney and Kiss assist with Ireland while three of the four Irish provinces that participate in the Celtic League are either headed up by, or were recently headed up by, Australians – with Munster coached by Tony McGahan and former Brumbies coach Laurie Fisher, while Leinster have Michael Cheika in charge, and Ulster were last season prepared by the ex-NSW Waratahs boss Matt Williams.

    Ireland’s Call: As the catchment area of the Ireland Rugby Football Union draws from the United Kingdom-governed Northern Ireland, as well as the Republic of Ireland, Irish teams often played without a national anthem being sung beforehand. To get around this, the catchy pre-game rallying anthem ‘Ireland’s Call’ was introduced shortly before the 1995 Rugby World Cup. Although not an official national anthem as such, the popular song embraces the four provinces that contribute to the Irish national team. The original version was sung by Andrew Strong of 90s Irish band, The Commitments.

    Rugby Union’s foundation in Ireland: Dublin University, founded in 1854, was the first organised Rugby Football Club in Ireland. Students at the University had first learnt the game while at English Public Schools. Other clubs which were formed at the time and are still in existence include, Wanderers founded in 1869; Lansdowne (1873); Dungannon (1873); UCC (1874); Co. Carlow (1873); Ballinasloe (1875); NIFC (1868); Queen’s University (1869). Ballinasloe and Athlone amalgamated in 1994 to form Buccaneers. From 1874 to 1879, there were two Unions: The Irish Football Union had jurisdiction over Clubs in Leinster, Munster and parts of Ulster; the Northern Football Union of Ireland controlled the Belfast area. When the first International was played against England in February 1875, the teams were 20-aside and the Irish team included 12 players from Leinster and eight from Ulster. The first 15- aside match was in 1877 and the first Munster players were chosen in 1879. In 1879 the two Unions agreed to amalgamate.

    From the Four Corners of Ireland: While not quite matching the popularity of Gaelic Football or soccer, rugby still has a strong hold across Ireland, with over 60,000 registered players. Club numbers are high, with the Leinster province (based on Dublin) boasting 71 clubs, Munster (Limerick & Cork) 59, Ulster (Belfast) 56 and Connacht 19. All four Irish provinces play in the Celtic League alongside the best of Wales and Scotland.

    In ‘Enemy’ Territory: The Qantas Wallabies will gain a rare experience in Dublin on Sunday when they play at Croke Park, the home of the Gaelic Football Association. Gaelic Football, a game not dis-similar to our own AFL, is Ireland’s most popular sport, and a distinctly Irish game, as opposed to the game of union, which was first developed in England. Thus the move to allow Croke Park, Gaelic football’s spiritual home, to host rugby union was a significant one; but has proved successful. Ireland has won six of the nine Tests it has played at the venue; which includes a 43-13 thrashing of arch rivals England during the latter’s maiden Croke Park appearance in 2007. France, Wales, and the Grand Slam-bound New Zealand side of last year are the only visiting sides to have successfully conquered Croke Park. The ground – which holds 80,000, subsequently played a big role in Ireland’s own Six Nations Grand Slam success earlier in the year. The IRFU is utilising Croke Park while its regular home, Lansdowne Road, is renovated into a modern national stadium with a capacity of 50,000. Work on the national stadium is well advanced, with it on track to open next year. Ireland played its first Test at Lansdowne Road in 1878, when it lost to England. It’s last, prior to the ground’s renovation, was a 61-17 win over the Pacific Islanders in the final autumn international of 2006. Ireland played 244 matches at the old Lansdowne Road, winning 118, losing 109 and drawing 17.

    Autumn Appointments: Australia’s visit to Dublin promises an occasion and a half; being the first game to be played on home turf by Ireland since it annexed the Six Nations Grand Slam in March. The Qantas Wallabies will be followed to Croke Park by Fiji and South Africa on successive weekends.

    The Lions Leader: Paul O’Connell might not captain Ireland, but the hard-nosed red-head did become the second consecutive Irish skipper of the Lions, leading the combined side during its 1-2 series loss in South Africa. The towering second row, who has been capped 62 times by Ireland and six by the Lions, is well known to Qantas Wallabies assistant coach Jim Williams as he was Williams’ forward leader and the Munster skipper when the side won last year’s Heineken Cup.

    Ronan – Life is a Rollercoaster!: The theme of Irish namesake Ronan Keating’s hit tune was not lost on Ireland flyhalf Ronan O’Gara, as he experienced the full gambit of emotions on the rugby field in a little over three months earlier this year. The likeable Munster-man became the leading point-scorer in Six Nations history in March, overtaking Jonny Wilkinson (479) to sit on 499. This tally included the most important dropped goal in Irish history just moments before the end of Ireland’s 17-15 triumph in Cardiff that sealed the first Irish Grand Slam in 61 years. Fast forward to 27 June and O’Gara was forced to plumb the depths of despair, when he conceded the injury time penalty which allowed South African marksman Morné Steyn to kick the series-sealing goal in a 30-28 Springbok success from the second Test of the British & Irish Lions series at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.

    Note: Ronan has written a book, his wife has had twins and he was sort of blamed for the Irish preformance is the last world cup as he was allegedly more interested in getting some bets on horses rather than completing training sessions.

    Brian’s Century: Brian O’Driscoll has enjoyed a pretty fair run playing against Australia, and he’ll be hoping that the good fortune continues as he plays his 100th Test match (94 for Ireland & 6 for the British & Irish Lions) when the Qantas Wallabies visit Croke Park. The 11th player to 100 Tests, O’Driscoll has played Australia four times, for two wins and two defeats, debuting as Ireland skipper during the 18-9 win over Australia at Dublin in 2002. As well as leading the Lions on their ill-fated mission to New Zealand in 2005, O’Driscoll has led Ireland to Four Triple Crowns and this year’s Grand Slam, as well as captaining Rocky Elsom and the rest of Leinster to its Heineken Cup triumph in May. ‘BoD’, as he is known by the Irish media, scored the 32nd Test try of his career against Australia at Melbourne last year, and now has 36 to his name – having scored in four of Ireland’s five matches during this year’s Grand Slam. He has captained Ireland 56 times in Tests, for 39 wins.

    Note: Brian is to wed later next year and has hired a castle for it. "In BOD we trust" is the catchcry of many an Irish Fan

    Ireland 2009 Six Nations Performance in Detail

    Note: No excuses now - even the most die hard Wallabies fan must rate one of these players for first tryscorer - here are the stats of the last few games, study and give the VBookie a run for her VCash

    February 7, 2009
    Ireland 30, France 21 at Dublin

    For Ireland: Tries by Jamie Heaslip, Brian O’Driscoll and Gordon D’Arcy; 3 conversions and 3 penalty goals by Ronan O’Gara.
    For France: Tries by Imanol Harinordoquy and Maxime Medard; conversion, 2 dropped goals and a penalty goal by Lionel Beauxis.
    Halftime: Ireland 13, France 10

    Ireland: Kearney; Bowe, B O'Driscoll (capt), P Wallace, Fitzgerald; O'Gara, O'Leary; Horan, Flannery, Hayes, O'Callaghan, O'Connell, Ferris, D Wallace, Heaslip.
    Replacements: R Best for Flannery (49), Court, O'Kelly, Leamy, Stringer, D'Arcy for Wallace (63), Murphy for Kearney 79, Leamy for Ferris 79
    Not Used: Court, O'Kelly, Stringer.
    France: Poitrenaud; Malzieu, Fritz, Jauzion, Medard; Beauxis, Tillous-Borde; Faure, Szarzewski, Lecouls, Chabal, Nallet; Dusautoir, Ouedraogo, Harinordoquy.
    Replacements: Kayser for Szarzewski (58), Mas for Lecouls (40), Millo-Chluski for Chabal (62), Picamoles for Harinordoquy (71), Parra for Tillous-Borde (68)
    Not Used: Baby, Heymans.
    Att: 82,000

    February 14
    Italy 9, Ireland 38 at Rome

    For Italy: 3 penalty goals by Luke McLean.
    For Ireland: Tries by Luke Fitzgerald, David Wallace, Brian O’Driscoll and Tommy Bowe; 4 conversions and a penalty goal by Ronan O’Gara, conversion by Rob Kearney.
    Halftime: Italy 9, Ireland 14

    Italy: Masi, Robertson, Canale, M. Bergamasco, Pratichetti, McLean, Griffen, Perugini, Ongaro, Castrogiovanni, Dellape, Reato, Zanni, M. Bergamasco, Parisse.
    Replacements: Bacchetti for Robertson (20), Garcia for Canale (48), Toniolatti for McLean (72), Festuccia for Ongaro (41), Nieto for Castrogiovanni (33), Del Fava for Dellape (48), Sole for Reato (48).
    Sin Bin: Masi (1), Perugini (36).
    Ireland: Kearney, Bowe, B. O'Driscoll, P. Wallace, Fitzgerald, O'Gara, O'Leary, Horan, Flannery, Hayes, O'Callaghan, O'Connell, Ferris, D. Wallace, Heaslip.
    Replacements: D'Arcy for P. Wallace (41), Stringer for O'Leary (72), Court for Horan (55), Best for Flannery (60), O'Kelly for O'Connell (77), Leamy for Ferris (62).
    Not Used: Murphy.
    Sin Bin: O'Gara (32).
    Att: 30,000
    Ref: C White (RFU).

    February 28, 2009
    Ireland 14, England 13 at Dublin

    For Ireland: Try by Brian O’Driscoll; 2 penalty goals by Ronan O’Gara, dropped goal by O’Driscoll.
    For England: Try by Dylan Armitage; conversion by Andy Goode, penalty goals by Toby Flood and Armitage.
    Halftime: Ireland 3, England 3

    Ireland: Kearney, Bowe, B O'Driscoll, P. Wallace, Fitzgerald, O'Gara, O'Leary, Horan, Flannery, Hayes, O'Callaghan, O'Connell, Ferris, D Wallace, Heaslip.
    Replacements: Stringer for O'Leary (65), Best for Flannery (68), Leamy for Heaslip (68). Not Used: Court, M O'Driscoll, D'Arcy, Murphy.
    England: D Armitage, Sackey, Tindall, Flutey, Cueto, Flood, Ellis, Sheridan, Mears, Vickery, Borthwick, Kennedy, Haskell, Worsley, Easter.
    Replacements: Tait for Sackey (57), Goode for Flood (66), Care for Ellis (58), White for Sheridan (77), Hartley for Mears (66), Croft for Kennedy (69), Narraway for Easter (76).
    Sin Bin: Vickery (55), Care (69).
    Att: 82,000
    Ref: Craig Joubert (South Africa).

    March 14, 2009
    Ireland 22, Scotland 15 at Edinburgh

    For Ireland: Try by Jamie Heaslip; conversion, 4 penalty goals and a dropped goal by Ronan O’Gara.
    For Scotland: 5 penalty goals by Chris Paterson.
    Halftime: Scotland 12, Ireland 9

    Scotland: Paterson, Danielli, M Evans, Morrison, T Evans, Godman, Blair (captain), Dickinson, Ford, Murray, White, Hamilton, Strokosch, Barclay, Taylor.
    Replacements: De Luca for Morrison (67), Gray for White (56), Cusiter for Blair (55), Hall for Ford (53).
    Ireland: Kearney, Bowe, O’Driscoll (captain), D’Arcy, Fitzgerald, O’Gara, Stringer, Horan, Best, Hayes, O’Callaghan, O’Connell, Ferris, Wallace, Leamy.
    Replacements: Flannery for Best (47), Heaslip for Leamy (51), O’Leary for Stringer (55), Murphy for Kearney (57).
    Att: 65,000
    Ref: N Owens (Wales).

    March 21, 2009
    Wales 15, Ireland 17 at Cardiff

    For Wales: 4 penalty goals and a dropped goal by Stephen Jones.
    For Ireland: Tries by Tommy Bowe and Brian O’Driscoll; 2 conversions and a dropped goal by Ronan O’Gara.
    Halftime: Wales 6, Ireland 0

    Wales: Byrne; M Jones, Shanklin, Henson, S Williams; S Jones, Phillips; Jenkins, Rees, A. Jones, Gough, A Jones, D Jones, M Williams, R Jones (capt).
    Replacements: Roberts for Byrne (30), Bennett for Rees (55), Charteris for Gough (55).
    Not Used: Yapp, J Thomas, Fury, Hook.
    Ireland: Kearney; Bowe, B O'Driscoll, D'Arcy, Fitzgerald; O'Gara, O'Leary; Horan, Flannery, Hayes, O'Callaghan, O'Connell, Ferris, D Wallace, Heaslip.
    Replacements: Murphy for Kearney (66), P Wallace for Fitzgerald (76), Stringer for O'Leary (69), Best for Flannery (68), Leamy for Ferris (blood, 7), Court for Hayes (blood, 27)
    Not Used: M O'Driscoll.
    Att: 74,625
    Ref: Wayne Barnes (RFU)

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    Last edited by Thequeerone; 10-11-09 at 06:55. Reason: Tidied up tables
    61 years between Grand Slams Was the wait worth it - Ya betta baby

  2. #2
    Senior Player Timbo's Avatar
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    If that is background info, we better get a bigger server for the match report

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