RWC #38: Brian O’Driscoll scores first Ireland try against USA

BOD opens international account at Lansdowne Road during 1999 World Cup opener

A fresh faced Brian O’Driscoll scores his first try for Ireland against the USA in their opening game of the 1999 Rugby World Cup. Photograph: Inpho

A fresh faced Brian O’Driscoll scores his first try for Ireland against the USA in their opening game of the 1999 Rugby World Cup. Photograph: Inpho

 

The great Brian O’Driscoll returned 46 international tries for Ireland in a stunning career lasting more than 15 years and 133 caps.

But before records can tumble it all has to start somewhere, and for BOD it began at Lansdowne Road against the USA in the 1999 World Cup.

The scene of so many of O’Driscoll’s tries was the scene of his first, in his fourth international appearance.

Ireland were 10-5 to the good early on in their 1999 tournament opener, with the Eagles struggling deep inside their own 22.

They look to run it, with big centre Tomasi Takau attempting to burst across the gainline before being soundly scragged by Dion O’Cuinneagain and sending the ball spilling forward.

Paddy Johns pounces on the scraps and recycles it to Kevin Maggs, who pops it off quickly to his new 20-year-old upstart partner in the centres.

Maggs’ pass takes American winger Brian Hightower out of the game and O’Driscoll is away, the ball buried firmly under his armpit, the ground disappearing in front of him as he glides across the line and under the posts.

The game itself was a complete walkover, with Keith Wood helping himself to four tries as Ireland romped to a 53-8 victory.

But while Wood would only sneak one more World Cup try O’Driscoll would deliver another six as he became the player of his generation.

He would go on to score better tries and far more important tries, including a hat-trick in Paris the following February, but against America in Ireland was where it all began.

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