Ireland
Ireland in the Five Nations of 1978
By Gary Watton
April 6 2013

A new prodigy had arrived called Tony Ward, which was just as well as Mike Gibson's career was approaching its finale. Meanwhile Tom Grace was relieved of the captaincy in favour of John Moloney. An improved Ireland at least avoided a whitewash, while elsewhere the mighty Welsh were just too good for everyone else, and helped themselves to another grand slam. The team line-ups for our opponents can be located on www.espnscrum.com 

IRELAND 12 SCOTLAND 9; 21st January; at Lansdowne Road

15 Ensor

14 Grace

13 McKibbin

12 McNaughton

11 McLennan

10 Ward [2 penalties, conversion]

9 Moloney (c)

8 Duggan

7 Slattery

6 O'Driscoll

5 Spring

4 Keane

3 Fitzpatrick

2 Whelan

1 Orr

Substitute Stewart McKinney scored the match's only try as a new-look Ireland reached half time with a twelve-six lead.

FRANCE 10 IRELAND 9; 18th February; at Parc des Princes

15 Ensor

14 Gibson

13 McKibbin

12 McNaughton

11 McLennan

10 Ward [3 penalties]

9 Moloney (c)

8 Duggan

7 Slattery

6 McKinney

5 Steele

4 Keane

3 Byrne

2 Whelan

1 Orr

The only score in the second half was a Ward penalty as Ireland came close to an elusive win at this Parisian venue. 

IRELAND 16 WALES 20; 4th March; at Lansdowne Road

15 Ensor

14 Gibson

13 McKibbin

12 McNaughton

11 McLennan

10 Ward [3 penalties, drop goal]

9 Moloney (c) [TRY]

8 Duggan

7 Slattery

6 McKinney

5 Steele

4 Keane

3 Byrne

2 Whelan

1 Orr

Steve Fenwick plundered sixteen points as Wales clinched the triple crown. The visitors had led 13-6 at half time.

ENGLAND 15 IRELAND 9; 18th March; at Twickenham

15 Ensor

14 Gibson

13 McKibbin

12 McNaughton

11 McLennan

10 Ward [2 penalties, drop goal]

9 Moloney (c)

8 Duggan

7 Slattery

6 McKinney

5 Steele

4 Keane

3 Byrne

2 Whelan

1 Orr

The hosts recorded a try in each half, as they finished the season with four points, double the tally for the Irish.