Ireland v England: Down memory lane


It’s now been 10 long years since the Red Rose bloomed in Dublin, with England sent home to think again on each and every occasion since 2003. Clive Woodward’s side may have crushed Ireland’s Grand Slam hopes a decade ago at the old Lansdowne Road, but Ireland have lorded it over the auld enemy on home soil in the intervening years – if one chooses to ignore, which we happily will, the rather meaningless 2011 World Cup warm-up game at the Aviva Stadium.

Setting that blip aside, we look back here at the last five meetings in Dublin.

Sunday, March 30th, 2003

Ireland 6 England 43

A bleak day to be an Irishman, as hopes of a first clean sweep since 1947 were brutally crushed by Martin Johnson and his horde of 'orcs on steroids'. The side that would go on to lift the World Cup in Australia gave no quarter, getting their retaliation in first and knocking Ireland out of their stride before a ball was even kicked in anger. What happened before the anthems may have been bad manners, but once the match got underway it was clear England had plenty of bite to go with their bark. Playing into a swirling wind the visitors were limited to 13-6 at the interval. What happened after the break was sheer carnage.

From the Archives: England dump Ireland's hopes

No one can say Ireland didn't give it a go, which perhaps made it all the more salutary. England weren't of a mind to let another Grand Slam slip by and were simply awesome in finally reaching their Six Nations Holy Grail. Talk about being put in your place.  Read Gerry Thornley’s full match report here

How they lined out

Ireland:G Murphy (Leicester); J Bishop (London Irish), B O'Driscoll (Leinster/Blackrock, capt), K Maggs (Bath), D Hickie (Leinster/St Mary's); D Humphreys (Ulster/Dungannon), P Stringer (Munster/Shannon); M Horan (Munster/Shannon), S Byrne (Leinster/Blackrock), J Hayes (Munster/Shannon), G Longwell (Ulster/Ballymena), M O'Kelly (Leinster/St Mary's), V Costello (Leinster/Blackrock), A Foley (Munster/Shannon), K Gleeson (Leinster/St Mary's). Replacements: P O'Connell (Munster/Young Munster) for Longwell (56 mins), R O'Gara (Munster/Constitution) for Humphreys (63 mins), A Quinlan (Munster/Shannon) for Costello (65 mins), J Fitpatrick (Ulster/Dungannon) for Horan (75 mins), G Dempsey (Leinster/Terenure) for O'Driscoll (80 mins).

England:J Lewsey (Wasps); J Robinson (Sale), M Tindall (Bath). W Greenwood (Harlequins), B Cohen (Northampton); J Wilkinson (Newcastle), M Dawson (Northampton); G Rowntree (Leicester), S Thompson (Northampton), J Leonard (Harlequins), M Johnson (Leicester, capt), B Kay (Leicester), R Hill (Saracens), N Back (Leicester), L Dallaglio (Wasps). Replacements: D Luger (Harlequins) for Tindall (71 mins), T Woodman (Gloucester) for Rowntree (37 mins).

Sunday, February 27th, 2005

Ireland 19 England 13

The high water mark of Ireland’s Six Nations campaign, Brian O’Driscoll was again the scourge of the English as his 60th minute try sealed a memorable win. The success owed much to a resolute defence organised masterfully by Mike Ford with the turning point coming 20 minutes from time, when what O’Driscoll would describe later as “a bit of Geordy magic" saw the Ireland fullback put his skipper away in the corner. With three wins in the bank, the result fuelled expectation of a Grand Slam, but Ireland would go on to lose their final two matches – France at home and Wales away – to finish among the also rans.

From the Archives: Irish mix guile with guts to see off old foe

When you know how to win, you know how to win. And, by extension, when you know how to lose, you know how to lose. England had the winning of this match, but ultimately didn't know how, whereas Ireland dug deep defensively, struck stealthily, and then, being Ireland, dug even deeper to hang on. Read Gerry Thornley’s full match report here 

How they lined out

Ireland:G Murphy (Leicester); G Dempsey (Leinster/Terenure College), B O'Driscoll (Leinster/Blackrock College, capt), S Horgan (Leinster/Lansdowne), D Hickie (Leinster/St Mary's College); R O'Gara (Munster/Cork Constitution), P Stringer (Munster/Shannon); R Corrigan (Leinster/Greystones), S Byrne (Leinster/Blackrock College), J Hayes (Munster/Bruff), M O'Kelly (Leinster/St Mary's College), P O'Connell (Munster/Young Munster), S Easterby (Llanelli), J O'Connor (Wasps), A Foley (Munster/Shannon). Replacements:M Horan (Munster-Shannon) for Corrigan (68 mins). Not used:F Sheahan (Munster/Cork Constitution), D O'Callaghan (Munster/Cork Constitution), E Miller (Leinster/Terenure College), G Easterby (Leinster/Blackrock College), D Humphreys (Ulster/Dungannon), K Maggs (Ulster/Belfast Harlequins).

England:J Robinson (Sale Sharks, capt); M Cueto (Sale Sharks), J Noon (Newcastle Falcons), O Barkley (Bath), J Lewsey (London Wasps); C Hodgson (Sale Sharks), H Ellis (Leicester Tigers); G Rowntree (Leicester Tigers), S Thompson (Northampton Saints), M Stevens (Bath), D Grewcock (Bath), B Kay (Leicester Tigers), J Worsley (London Wasps), L Moody (Leicester Tigers), M Corry (Leicester Tigers). Replacements:M Dawson (Wasps) for Ellis (70 mins). Not used:A Titterrell (Sale Sharks), D Bell (Bath), S Borthwick (Bath), A Hazell (Gloucester), A Goode (Leicester Tigers), O Smith (Leicester Tigers).

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

Ireland 43 England 13

On an occasion that was bigger than a mere game of rugby, Ireland matched the sense of history off the pitch with a performance of intensity and precision that simply blew an overawed, if somewhat callow, English side away. The playing of God Save the Queen at Croke Park was always going to be emotive, but it was a stirring rendition of Ámhráin Na bhFiann – heck, even Ireland’s Call had its moments – that got the juices flowing. As for the match itself, we even had a Shane Horgan score any old Gael would have been proud of to embellish the occasion. As Keith Duggan of this parish would write the following Monday: “By the time Ronan O'Gara delivered his wonderful homage to Gaelic football, old Erin was feeling mightily pleased with herself. The Cork man floated a daring kick across the Canal End of the ground with 10 minutes left. Shane Horgan made a dashing fetch and grounded the ball for a celebratory try. And just like that, Blighty was dashed and humbled.”

From the Archives: Welcome warm but O'Connell and company draw firm line

All day long, no-one drew the lines in the sand more compellingly than O'Connell. Towering in the air, off restarts and at lineout time, he literally led the charge into contact with a vintage display. Man on a mission. No one can play like this all the time, but Ireland's forward totem was due a big one. He knew it. We knew it. And he, along with all his team-mates, delivered big-time.  Read Gerry Thornley’s full match report here 

How they lined out

Ireland:G Dempsey (Leinster); S Horgan (Leinster), B O'Driscoll (Leinster, captain), G D'Arcy (Leinster), D Hickie (Leinster); R O'Gara (Munster), P Stringer (Munster); M Horan (Munster), R Best (Ulster), J Hayes (Munster); D O'Callaghan (Munster), P O'Connell (Munster); S Easterby (Llanelli), D Wallace (Munster), D Leamy (Munster). Replacements:J Flannery (Munster) for R Best (63 mins), N Best (Ulster) for Easterby (70 mins), S Best (Ulster) for Hayes (71 mins), A Trimble (Ulster) for O'Driscoll (73 mins), M O'Driscoll (Munster) for Leamy, I Boss (Ulster) for Stringer, P Wallace (Ulster) for O'Gara (all 77 mins).

England:O Morgan (Gloucester); J Lewsey (London Wasps), M Tindall (Gloucester), A Farrell (Saracens), D Strettle (NEC Harlequins); J Wilkinson (Newcastle Falcons), H Ellis (Leicester Tigers); P Freshwater (Perpignan), G Chuter (Leicester Tigers), P Vickery (London Wasps, captain); L Deacon (Leicester Tigers), D Grewcock (Bath); J Worsley (London Wasps), M Lund (Sale Sharks), M Corry (Leicester Tigers). Replacements:M Tait (Newcastle Falcons) for Morgan (30 mins), T Rees (London Wasps) for Lund (half-time), J White (Leicester Tigers) for Freshwater (44 mins), T Palmer (London Wasps) for Grewcock (54 mins), S Perry (Bristol Rugby) for Ellis (68 mins), L Mears (Bath) for Chuter (72 mins). Not used:T Flood (Newcastle Falcons).

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

Ireland 14 England 13

Step three of five to that historic Grand Slam, Ireland’s win at Croke Park may have lacked the drama of the endgame in Cardiff but it was every bit as fraught. Again, the result came down to an intervention from Ireland’s talisman as, having watched his forwards batter away at the English line to no avail, Brian O’Driscoll burrowed under the English tacklers from a couple of yards for the winning score. That England had clearly targeted the Ireland captain throughout the match, with Riki Flutey and Delon Armitage singling him out for, eh, treatment, only added to his satisfaction at once again getting one over on an English side.

From the Archives: Ireland change tack to go the Munster way

Anyone expecting a beauty contest would have been disappointed, but they would have been misguided in the first place. This was always likely to be an arm-wrestle. As World Cup opponents can testify, not to mention Wales a fortnight ago, it’s the way of things when England take to a rugby pitch, so Ireland can take plenty of satisfaction in taking them on and outmuscling them. Read Gerry Thornley’s full match report here

How they lined out

Ireland:R Kearney (Leinster); T Bowe (Ospreys), B O’Driscoll (Leinster, cap), P Wallace (Ulster), L Fitzgerald (Leinster); R O’Gara (Munster), T O’Leary (Munster); M Horan (Munster), J Flannery (Munster), J Hayes (Munster), D O’Callaghan (Munster), P O’Connell (Munster), S Ferris (Ulster), D Wallace (Munster), J Heaslip (Leinster). Replacements:P Stringer (Munster) for O’Leary (66 mins), R Best (Ulster) for Flannery, D Leamy (Munster) for Heaslip (both 69 mins). Not used:T Court (Ulster), M O’Driscoll (Munster), G D’Arcy (Leinster), G Murphy (Leicester Tigers).

England:D Armitage (London Irish); P Sackey (Wasps), M Tindall (Gloucester), R Flutey (Wasps), M Cueto (Sale); T Flood (Leicester), H Ellis (Leicester); A Sheridan (Sale), L Mears (Bath), P Vickery (London Wasps), S Borthwick (Saracens, capt), N Kennedy (London Irish), J Haskell (Wasps), J Worsley (Wasps), N Easter (Harlequins). Replacements:J White (Leicester) for Haskell (58-66 mins, for Sheridan 76 mins), D Care (Harlequins) for Ellis (57 mins), M Tait (Sale) for Sackey (58 mins), D Hartley (Northampton) for Mears, A Goode (AC Brive) for Flood (both 66 mins), T Croft (Leicester) for Kennedy (69 mins), L Narraway (Gloucester) for Easter (76 mins). Sinbinned:Vickery (56-66 mins), Care (70-80 mins).

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

Ireland 24 England 8

On their most recent trip to these shores, a Grand Slam chasing England arrived with an air of arrogance but found themselves firmly put in the halfpenny place following a bad-tempered affair at the Aviva. With nothing but pride to play for following an insipid Six Nations, Ireland finally cobbled together a performance worthy of themselves while Jonny Sexton and Ronan O’Gara both delighted in getting involved with a petulant Chris Ashton. Feted in their own press, Martin Johnson’s side failed to deliver and Ashton’s tetchiness was symptomatic of their afternoon. Oh, and some bloke called O’Driscoll broke the Six Nations try-scoring record into the bargain.

From the Archives: Real Irish team shows up to face auld enemy

Nice of the real Irish team to show up, so nice and such a relief, in fact, that it really does seem churlish to ask where they’d been hiding themselves up until this. Of course, Ireland were never that far away, which merely added to the sense of frustration over the previous four games – not least for themselves. And they used that frustration, and the burning sense of resentment over refereeing decisions – especially the week before – and the auld enemy seeking a Slam on their home turn to bring their A game to the Aviva.  Read Gerry Thornley’s full match report here 

How they lined out

Ireland:K Earls (Munster); T Bowe (Ospreys), B O’Driscoll (Leinster, capt), G D’Arcy (Leinster), A Trimble (Ulster); J Sexton (Leinster), E Reddan (Leinster); C Healy (Leinster), R Best (Ulster), M Ross (Leinster), D O’Callaghan (Munster), P O’Connell (Munster), S O’Brien (Leinster), D Wallace (Munster), J Heaslip (Leinster). Replacements:T Court (Ulster) for Ross (58 mins), R O’Gara (Munster) for Sexton (70 mins), D Leamy (Munster) for D Wallace (72 mins), L Cullen (Leinster) for O’Connell, S Cronin (Connacht) for Best, P Stringer (Munster) for Reddan, P Wallace (Ulster) for D’Arcy (all 79 mins)

England:B Foden (Northampton Saints); C Ashton (Northampton Saints), M Banahan (Bath), S Hape (Bath), M Cueto (Sale Sharks); T Flood (Leicester Tigers), B Youngs (Leicester Tigers); A Corbisiero (London Irish), D Hartley (Northampton Saints), D Cole (Leicester Tigers), L Deacon (Leicester Tigers), T Palmer (Stade Francais), T Wood (Northampton Saints), J Haskell (Stade Francais), N Easter (Harlequins,capt). Replacements:S Shaw (London Wasps) for Palmer (26 mins), D Care (Harlequins) for Youngs (46 mins), S Thompson (Leeds Carnegie) for Hartley, P Doran-Jones (Gloucester) for Cole, J Wilkinson (Toulon) for Flood (all 51 mins), T Croft (Leicester Tigers) for Deacon (55 mins), D Strettle (Saracens) for Cueto (66 mins). Sinbinned:Youngs (36-46 mins).

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