Ireland
Ireland in the Five Nations of 1982
By Gary Watton
April 12 2013


A famous front row

It could only be Ireland to under-perform in 1980 and 1981 when much had been expected of the double conquerors of Australia. Now in 1982, with the upheaval of the captaincy being passed from Slattery to military man Ciaran Fitzgerald, the Oirish emerged from pre-season no-hopers to a Triple Crown triumph, the country's first in thirty-three barren years. This Ireland team were labelled as 'Dad's Army' which was partially valid, but I can never understand why the England Grand Slam bunch of 1980 were not more deserving of such an epithet. Meanwhile, on the emerald isle, Mr Ollie Campbell successfully put to bed the debate over Campbell versus Ward at fly half with a virtuoso performance against Wales and kicking heroics thereafter.

IRELAND 20 WALES 12; 23rd January; at Lansdowne Road

15 MacNeill

14 Ringland [TRY]

13 Irwin

12 Dean

11 Finn [2 TRIES]

10 Campbell [2 penalties, conversion]

9 McGrath

8 Duggan

7 O'Driscoll

6 Slattery

5 Lenihan

4 Keane

3 McLoughlin

2 Fitzgerald (c)

1 Orr

A Terry Holmes try earned Wales a 9-8 half-time lead, but a rampant Ireland added a third try after the interval.

ENGLAND 15 IRELAND 16; 6th February; at Twickenham

15 MacNeill [TRY]

14 Ringland

13 Kiernan

12 Dean

11 Finn

10 Campbell [2 penalties, conversion]

9 McGrath

8 Duggan

7 O'Driscoll

6 Slattery

5 Lenihan

4 Keane

3 McLoughlin [TRY]

2 Fitzgerald (c)

1 Orr

A late Mike Slemen try was only a consolation, after Ginger McLoughlin had famously bulldozed his way over the try line.

IRELAND 21 SCOTLAND 12; 20th February; at Lansdowne Road

15 MacNeill

14 Finn

13 Kiernan

12 Dean

11 Crossan

10 Campbell [6 penalties, drop goal]

9 McGrath

8 Duggan

7 O'Driscoll

6 Slattery

5 Lenihan

4 Keane

3 McLoughlin

2 Fitzgerald (c)

1 Orr

John Rutherford scored the match's only try but his heroics were outshone by his opposite number, Ollie Campbell.

FRANCE 22 IRELAND 9; 20th March; at Parc des Princes

15 MacNeill

14 Ringland

13 Kiernan

12 Dean

11 Finn

10 Campbell [3 penalties]

9 McGrath

8 O'Driscoll

7 Kearney

6 Slattery

5 Lenihan

4 Keane

3 McLoughlin

2 Fitzgerald (c)

1 Orr

This Grand Slam attempt proved to be a bridge too far, in spite of a six-three interval lead.