RWC #35: Keith Wood scores four tries against USA

Ireland hooker joins the likes of Jonah Lomu crossing four times at Lansdowne Road in 1999

Keith Wood dives to score his third of four tries in Ireland’s win over the USA in the 1999 Rugby World Cup. Photograph: Inpho

Keith Wood dives to score his third of four tries in Ireland’s win over the USA in the 1999 Rugby World Cup. Photograph: Inpho

 

Jonah Lomu, Bryan Habana, Chester Williams, Marc Ellis, Chris Latham and Keith Wood - what do they all have in common?

Well, they’ve all scored four tries or more in a World Cup match. But, only one was a frontrow forward.

Keith Wood was a player whose fantastic technical ability as a hooker was combined with a dynamism and rugby brain which would probably have seen him be a star in a different position had he been a different build.

And he showcased this brilliantly during Ireland’s 53-8 pool win over the USA at Lansdowne Road in the 1999 World Cup, in which he scored four of his 15 international tries.

The first try came after the Ireland pack rumbled over the USA line and Wood, as he so often did, emerged from a swamp of scattered bodies with the ball under his arm before trotting back to the halfway line.

For number two Ireland’s pack put the squeeze on the American scrum and turned the ball over right on the opposition line. The ball was set back and there, as ever, was Wood, picking the ball up at the base, spying a gap and flying over the line using that brilliant combination of speed, power and a low centre of gravity.

For his hat-trick Wood, always alert and lurking on the short side at an American lineout, saw the ball knocked down by Jeremy Davidson and seized on the scraps like all great hookers do, pouncing and burrowing over the line.

The last was the pick of the bunch. Having hit his man at a lineout on the nearside, Wood lingered with menace on the touchline. As play broke down under the posts the ball came back to the right for Eric Elwood, who had one man outside him.

Elwood dinked the ball in behind and there was auxiliary-winger Wood, who raced past opposite number Tom Billups and dived on the ball in goal to take his tally to four.

Not a bad return for a big lump up front.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.