Ireland
Ireland in the Five Nations of 1988
By Gary Watton
April 13 2013

A mediocre 1988 tournament for Ireland looked like it might be petering out at Twickenham with a nondescript victory against England, but then it rained tries, like manna from Heaven, for the tries-starved English, and the Oirish Five Nations campaign shockingly descended into chaos. It had seemed much more promising after a three-try display against Scotland at the start of the hostilities. By the end of the competition, it was a case of back to the drawing board again, as Ireland sought a long-term replacement for the irreplaceable Phil Orr and 1987 bomb victim Nigel Carr. Even the illustrious careers of Hugo MacNeill and Trevor Ringland were irreparably damaged by the second-half rout in south-west London. Wales meanwhile recorded a triple crown, which represented an oasis of success in an otherwise barren decade for the once-mighty dragon.

IRELAND 22 SCOTLAND 18; 16th January; at Lansdowne Road

15 Danaher

14 Ringland

13 Mullin [TRY]

12 Kiernan [drop goal, penalty, 2 conversions]

11 Crossan

10 Dean

9 Bradley [TRY]

8 Gibson

7 Sexton

6 Matthews

5 Anderson

4 Lenihan (c)

3 Fitzgerald.D

2 Kingston

1 Fitzgerald.J

Replacement Hugo MacNeill scored one of two first-half tries. Michael Bradley did likewise in the second half.

FRANCE 25 IRELAND 6; 20th February; at Parc des Princes

15 Danaher

14 Ringland

13 Mullin

12 Kiernan [2 penalties]

11 Crossan

10 Dean

9 Bradley

8 Gibson

7 Whittle

6 Matthews

5 Anderson

4 Lenihan (c)

3 Fitzgerald.D

2 Kingston

1 Fitzgerald.J

The rampant French scored five tries as Ireland's poor run at this venue continued. The interval lead was 'only' 7-0.

IRELAND 9 WALES 12; 5th March; at Lansdowne Road

15 Danaher

14 Ringland

13 Mullin

12 Kiernan [penalty, conversion]

11 Crossan

10 Dean

9 Bradley

8 Gibson

7 McBride

6 Matthews

5 Anderson

4 Lenihan (c)

3 Fitzgerald

2 Kingston [TRY]

1 Clancy

Paul Moriarty scored a second-half try which helped to emulate the team of 1978 by landing a triple crown in Dublin.

ENGLAND 35 IRELAND 3; 19th March; at Twickenham

15 MacNeill

14 Ringland

13 Mullin

12 Kiernan [drop goal]

11 Crossan

10 Dean

9 Bradley

8 Anderson

7 McBride

6 Matthews

5 Moylett

4 Lenihan (c)

3 Fitzgerald

2 Kingston

1 Clancy

No-one could have foreseen the carnage of the second-half after a 3-0 half-time lead for Ireland! Oti achieved three tries.