“ Sports: Rugby Union / Sport Topic: Rugby Teams „
What a way to spoil Engalnd's party for the thrid time in successive years. It was a performance of guts and gusto that made us all proud to be Irish on the day. 20-14 and, in my opinion, England were flattered by that score. Had the mercurial Humphrey's had his kicking boots on or had we had a fully fit O'Driscoll, i have no doubt that we would have been out of sight of the champions and substantially closer to the 62 point winning margin we needed to win the championship. However it was not to be, but one still has to be immensely proud of the effort the boys put in. Massive performances from the back row, in particular Wallace, contributed in no small way to this historic overcoming of the old enemy. The big Munster man, in his first game ever against Engalnd, hit everything that moved and carried the oval with such determination that no Englisman could get near it. He outshone the legendary Neil Back hands down, no mean feat for a man with only 9 caps to his name and,surely,the find of the season. And then there was "Woody". The best hooker in the world today had been criticised for underachieving in the past three games but on this occasion managed to stand head and shoulders above anyone else on the Lansdowne Road surface. His accurate throwing combined with his sheer pace and passion in the loose, kept the English on there toes. Then there was a small matter of a try. Wallace and Wood were only two of twenty five green heroes on the day and they fully deserved their win. We can look forward to next year with great hope in this green patch for Irish rugby. The only question that now occupies our thoughts is the "What if.....in Murrayfield four weeks ago...."
In my opinion Ireland are turning into one of the most exiting teams in international rugby today. We have a superbly strong and dynamic front row especially Kieth Wood who is with out boubt the best hooker in the world. Our Second row of Malcolm O'Kelly and ex lion Jeremy Davidson are possibly the best pairing in the world. Our backs are also fantastic and exciting however we do seem to have the wrong man at out-half. At present we have got Ronan O'Gara who can do nothing but kick. We should have David Humphries on as he plays a far more modern style of rugby. This could be seen when he came on against South Africa and threw a pass to the hugely talented Brian O'Driscoll which opened up the Springboks defence and created a try! However, if we have Humphries and a full strength team we willquickly become a major threat to the three southern hemisphere teams.