Ireland Winning Tours of Australia 1967, 1979 AND 2018

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Ireland Winning Tours of Australia 1967, 1979 AND 2018

Post by Pot Hale on Tue 20 Mar 2018, 11:35 pm

First topic message reminder :

Here’s an easy one. Who was the first European rugby union to win all tests in a tour series in the Southern Hemisphere?

Whilst Ireland's playing history - home and away - against South Africa and New Zealand was littered with one failure after another in the amateur days, surprisingly their record against Australia is pockmarked with wins at home and on the road, albeit matches were held less frequently in the BSE - Baggy Shorts Era.

Not many people might know this, but Ireland has had 4 proper rugby tours of Australia - in 1967, 1979, 1994, and 1999. By proper, I mean old-style tours involving matches against provincial union or state teams as well as one or two test matches against the Wallabies. And rather surprisingly, Ireland have won two tours and lost two.

Ireland’s fifth tour of Australia begins with the first of three tests on 9 June and it promises to settle a few scores, mark the overall ledger up in favour of one, and probably create a few bragging and bagging rights along the way for fans and commentators.

Australia won the first two tests between the countries in 1927 and 1947 in Lansdowne Road in Dublin. On the Australian tour of Britain, Ireland and France in 1958, Ireland got their first test win on the board. Over the next 20 years, the teams met 7 times, with Ireland winning six of them, including their first-ever away test in Sydney as part of their first 6-game tour of Australia in 1967.

Ireland's last two test wins in Australia were those of the famous 1979 tour when the Irish team had their most successful winning patch, playing 8 games, including two tests, and losing just once against local representative team, Sydney.

Ollie Campbell, Mike Gibson, Terry Kennedy, Paul McNaughton, Tony Ward, Willie Duggan, Moss Keane, Fergus Slattery were some of the more well-known names on that tour. Tony Ward was the star name playing outhalf for Ireland. He had been named European Player of the Year for the second year running. All the running assumptions were that he’d play in a few of the run-up games and start the first test at the helm. A few days beforehand, the Irish manager and coach thought different and, inexplicably to nearly everyone, picked Campbell to start.

Across the two tests, Ireland scored 36 points with Campbell kicking 28 of them bringing his total to 60 points for the tour. He was named player of the tour. Ward, by his own admission in his autobiography, never played as well again and laid blame squarely at the manager and coach’s door for how they handled what became known in Irish rugby as ‘The Decision’.

Campbell returned home the hero of the hour by helping to claim the first individual tour victory in all tests by a northern team in the Southern Hemisphere. (France had won a test match but drawn the other test on tours of SA in 1958 and Oz 1972.) After the tour, Ireland’s overall win record stood at 6 wins to Australia’s 3.

Campbell and the team were cheered to the rafters. Ireland went on to win the Five Nations in 1982, shared it with France in 1983 and won it outright again in 1985. And then the curtain came down. And the roof started to fall in.

Two further 2-test tours against Australia followed in 1994 and 1999 - Ireland lost all the test matches and most of the midweek games against ACT, Sydney, and New South Wales amongst others.

Those two tours formed part of what is probably the lowest period in Irish rugby. Ireland played 11 tests against Australia, 8 versus New Zealand and 6 against South Africa between 1980 and 2002 - they lost every game. Despite their initial successes in the 1980s, their record in that period against Five/Six Nations opponents was not much better - 3 wins from 24 against France, 7 from 24 vs both England and Scotland, and even losing 3 from 8 against Italy.

From 2001 onwards, when professionalism finally took hold, and Irish provinces entered the Celtic League, the fortunes of the Irish provinces and test side changed - first under Eddie O'Sullivan, winning a test again against Australia in 2002 and for the first time against South Africa (2004). They moved from being regular wooden spooners in the 90's to competing at the top in the new Six Nations. Then they finally achieved a second Grand Slam in 2009 with Declan Kidney, 61 years after their first. They remained unbeaten that year finishing with a 15-10 win against Lions victors and the reigning Tri-Nations champions, South Africa.

Of course, after Ireland finally won again in 2002, Australia promptly won the next four tests. Another Irish win in 2006 was followed by two Wallaby wins and a draw. Then came the RWC pool match in 2011 with both teams meeting on neutral NZ territory. Australia ran into Stephen Ferris and Sean O’Brien for the first time and Will Genia found himself being picked up and carried backwards whilst his team-mates were held up time and again in the famous choke tackle and eventually out of the game. Australia won the next test in 2013, and Ireland won the next one a year later, and the next one again in 2016.

Nonetheless, Australia continue to have the upper hand - 21 wins to Ireland’s 11 (and a sister-smooching draw). But Ireland is determined to close the gap further.

So now it’s the turn of Joe Schmidt to bring the Ireland squad down-under for a three-test series in June. Expectations are high with Ireland’s recent Grand Slam win and recent record against the Wallabies.

Except they haven’t won in Oz for 39 years.

Their last away loss was in Brisbane in June 2010 as part of a NZ/Aus Tour. On that day, newcomer outhalf, Johnny Sexton, kicked all of Ireland’s 15 points in the first half, to Australia’s 16 points. But the Declan Kidney-coached team, off the back of a 97-point shellacking from the All Blacks and NZ Maori in the previous weeks, and down a few key players, couldn’t overtake the Wallabies as Giteau notched another couple of penalties to finish them off - 22-15.

Eight years on from Brisbane, both teams are in different places and ranking. Cheika is hoping to fashion a team that can compete and win in the Rugby Championship. He needs a decent scalp on his belt going into that battle. Schmidt has the 6N in his back pocket and a team that is beginning to hum nicely with a mix of old heads and young hearts running a new 12-match streak. Ireland are the current holders of the Lansdowne Cup - the trophy fought between the two sides since 1999.

England, Scotland & Wales have announced squads with development and player rest on their minds as coaches seek to add depth to their squads for RWC 2019. Irish pundits and fans have been making similar noises querying whether players such as Sexton, Murray, Furlong, Stander should rest up on their summer hols and let the younger Turks get more time and experience. Schmidt has faced this before, imposed through injury rather than selection by choice, when he brought a relatively raw squad to South Africa and gave much needed game time to some new faces including Furlong, Henderson, Roux, Stander, and Marmion.

Schmidt will want to win the series, but he needs to give more time to the newbies. He’s got a few injuries such as Henderson, O’Brien, Farrell, Best but still has plenty of choice this time around and all of them hungry for some tasty wallaby.

Ireland Squad (Summer Tour 2018, Australia)

FORWARDS (18)

Tadhg Beirne (Scarlets) uncapped
Jack Conan (Old Belvedere/Leinster) 7 caps
Sean Cronin (St Mary's College/Leinster) 61 caps
Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster) 23 caps
Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster) 78 caps
Iain Henderson (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 38 caps
Rob Herring (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 3 caps
Dan Leavy (UCD/Leinster) 9 caps
Jack McGrath (St Mary's College/Leinster) 47 caps
Jordi Murphy (Lansdowne/Leinster) 20 caps
Peter O'Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster) 47 caps
Andrew Porter (UCD/Leinster) 7 caps
Quinn Roux (Galwegians/Connacht) 5 caps
James Ryan (UCD/Leinster) 8 caps
John Ryan (Cork Constitution/Munster) 13 caps
Niall Scannell (Munster) 4 caps
CJ Stander (Shannon/Munster) 23 caps
Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster) 58 caps

BACKS (14)
Bundee Aki (Galwegians/Connacht) 7 caps
Ross Byrne (UCD/Leinster) uncapped
Joey Carbery (Clontarf/Leinster) 10 caps
Andrew Conway (Garryowen/Munster) 6 caps
John Cooney (Terenure College RFC/Ulster) 1 cap
Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster) 67 caps
Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Leinster) 33 caps
Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster) 83 caps
Jordan Larmour (St Mary's College/Leinster) 3 caps
Kieran Marmion (Corinthians/Connacht) 21 caps
Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster) 64 caps
Garry Ringrose (UCD/Leinster) 13 caps
Johnny Sexton (St Mary's College/Leinster) 73 caps
Jacob Stockdale (Ballynahnch/Ulster) 9 caps

IRELAND SUMMER TOUR 2018 FIXTURES

Saturday 9th June, 2018
Australia v IRELAND
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, KO 20.05 local (11.05 IRL)

Saturday 16th June, 2018
Australia v IRELAND
AAMI Park, Melbourne, KO 20.05 local (11.05 IRL)

Saturday 23rd June, 2018
Australia v IRELAND
Allianz Park, Sydney KO 20.05 local (11.05 IRL)


Ireland win the series 2-1 with the final test in Sydney ending 20-16.


Last edited by Pot Hale on Sat 23 Jun 2018, 9:19 pm; edited 9 times in total
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Re: Ireland Winning Tours of Australia 1967, 1979 AND 2018

Post by Collapse2005 on Mon 23 Jul 2018, 2:34 pm

Stupidity and ignorance is offensive alright which is probably why inter governmental agreements between Ireland and Britain refer to Ireland and Great Britain as these Islands. Using the phrase the British Isles would be as inaccurate as referring to Britain and Ireland as the Irish isles. Its a disputed terminology. I reckon the only reason the term British Isles is still used is down to general ingorance which is kind of what you would expect from an electorate that choose to leave the EU for no particular good reason.

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Re: Ireland Winning Tours of Australia 1967, 1979 AND 2018

Post by rodders on Mon 23 Jul 2018, 3:16 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:I reckon the only reason the term British Isles is still used is down to general ingorance which is kind of what you would expect from an electorate that choose to leave the EU for no particular good reason.

Here now go easy. protecting Rees-Moggs offshore tax havens from the EU is hardly no good reason.
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Re: Ireland Winning Tours of Australia 1967, 1979 AND 2018

Post by Pot Hale on Mon 23 Jul 2018, 7:29 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
SecretFly wrote:It's not that it's controversial really, it's just that a sovereign State doesn't see a word, invented by someone else a long way back, even further back than the SaxonEnglish invasion of GB, as an identifier of self.  A State gets to call itself what it wants - and the Southern bit of this island chooses Ireland for the thing we live in that's surrounded by water... not Ireland as a sub division of something else (British), just Ireland.  Mexico gets to call itself Mexico, it doesn't need America in the title.  The UK gets to call itself the UK, it doesn't need France or Mainland Europe in the title. 

I like it that way.  Now if only I could persuade my fellow Irish men to also get rid of the sub heading 'European'  Whistle .  It's funny too that a geographical identity is often hijacked by politico Imperialists to strongly hint at ownership rights, so let's not be coy about why an Island's name is obviously mixed in with "propaganda in schools"... propaganda in schools everywhere, not just in the schools of the auld Emerald Isle.

Anyway, the moral of the story is that just because the Romans (or probably moreso the ancient Greeks) named the islands as a group and called them 'British' etc.... doesn't require a whole new generation thousands of years later to bow or curtsy to that ancient name.  It's better off that peoples name themselves rather than have it pressed upon them by remote and casual Mediterranean observers.

Now let's discuss the British West Indies, and there's a bunch of islands a LONG LONG way from "home", aren't they................ Whistle

The propaganda taught in schools applies equally to both sides of the border - travel a few miles and see the difference in text books.

Mexico can politically call itself whatever it wants, but it cannot force that choice on others when referring to it. Geographically, Mexico can be accurately described as part of the 'Americas' or 'Central America' whether they like it or not.

It is incredible that anyone from Ireland should consider the designation given to a country as not being "controversial, really". Nomenclature has caused little but controversy on both sides of the border. The term 'Ireland' can mean different things to different people - the Republic of Ireland, the Irish free state, Éire, Eire, Poblacht na h-Éireann, Erin, the Emerald Isle etc. and does it represent 26 or 32 counties? There are a million inhabitants of the six counties in the 'North of Ireland' / 'Northern Ireland', who were taught in school that the land they are living on is geographically part of the group of islands collectively know as the 'the British Isles'. When a neighbouring sovereign State denies that association, are they not being just as 'politico Imperialist' as those suggesting Ireland is part of the British Isles?

The BWI are close to the Dutch, French, Spanish and Portuguese West Indies, but apart from the Bermuda sevens aren't big into rugby - perhaps that discussion should be for the cricket board?

In fairness, the Government of Ireland - its official name as recognised by the UK and EU - says that British Isles is inappropriate as a description of the two countries of UK and Ireland.  And that has been accepted by the British government.   The Irish constitution still states that the name of the state is Éire or Ireland in the English language.  Republic of Ireland or Irish Republic is not the official name of the country.  

Pot Hale - All fair enough.

The point though is that those complaining about the inappropriateness of the possessive term 'British' in relation to a collection of islands are frequently dismissive of the inappropriateness of referring to Ireland as possessing 32 counties rather than 26. In rugby terms the 'British Lions' became the 'British and Irish' Lions, so in the interests of appropriateness should the Irish team become 'Ireland and Northern Ireland'!

Fair points although I would always recognise that there are 32 counties on the island of Ireland. And 26 in Ireland Smile. I don’t think I’ve heard “possessing” being used.  I’m also aware that the six historic counties in Northern Ireland are not used administratively with with different geographical named Districts being used instead eg Newry & Mourne.

I agree that different people use different names to describe things - my family members in Belfast look at me oddly when I refer to things and vice versa.  No problem with that at all.
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Re: Ireland Winning Tours of Australia 1967, 1979 AND 2018

Post by The Great Aukster on Mon 23 Jul 2018, 9:28 pm

PH - 'Possessing' was only a reference to the earlier "possessive" referring to the grammatical form in relation to belonging.
https://www.ef.co.uk/english-resources/english-grammar/forming-possessive/
I agree it's great to experience different perspectives however oddly those less-travelled might view them.

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Re: Ireland Winning Tours of Australia 1967, 1979 AND 2018

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