Ireland
Ireland in the Six Nations of 2000
By Gary Watton
April 22 2013

The beginning of a new century not only represented the arrival of a new Six Nations tournament, with Italy entering the annual circus, but the dawning of a new era for Irish rugby was born. New players such as the Munster pairing of Ronan O'Gara and Peter Stringer and Ireland's very own Jonah Lomu, big Shane Horgan, now represented the national team with distinction. 2000 was quite a record-breaking campaign for the Oirish. An O'Driscoll hat trick enabled the men in green to win in Paris for the first time since as far back as 1972. Equally significant was a fine home win against Scotland, a team that Ireland had consistently under-achieved against since 1988. Admittedly, Ireland's 'brave new world' got off to the worst possible start against England! Here we have the emergence of Ireland's 'golden generation', though I feel such a phrase is inaccurate. Many of our 'greats' have gone, but new stars are being eased into the picture. To suggest that Ireland's golden generation existed for several years suggests that a barren spell awaits. I beg to differ. With a good coach in place, all things are possible. Defeatism and negative thinking must be expelled immediately. 

ENGLAND 50 IRELAND 18; 5th February; at Twickenham

15 O'Shea

14 Bishop

13 O'Driscoll

12 Mullins

11 Maggs [TRY]

10 Humphreys [2 penalties, conversion]

9 Tierney

8 Foley

7 Dawson

6 O'Cuinneagain

5 O'Kelly

4 Casey

3 Wallace

2 Wood (c)

1 Clohessy

Substitute Mick Galwey emulated his try of 1993 against England. However the superior hosts led 25-3 at the interval.

IRELAND 44 SCOTLAND 22; 19th February; at Lansdowne Road

15 Dempsey

14 Horgan [TRY]

13 O'Driscoll [TRY]

12 Mullins

11 Hickie

10 O'Gara [2 penalties, 2 conversions]

9 Stringer

8 Foley

7 Dawson

6 Easterby

5 O'Kelly [TRY]

4 Galwey

3 Hayes

2 Wood (c) [TRY]

1 Clohessy

Ireland only led 13-10 at half time. The dropped David Humphreys came on to record a try, a penalty, and 3 conversions.

IRELAND 60 ITALY 13; 4th March; at Lansdowne Road

15 Dempsey [TRY]

14 Horgan [2 TRIES]

13 O'Driscoll [TRY]

12 Mullins

11 Hickie

10 O'Gara [6 penalties, 6 conversions]

9 Stringer

8 Foley

7 Dawson [TRY]

6 Easterby

5 O'Kelly

4 Galwey

3 Hayes

2 Wood (c) [TRY]

1 Clohessy

At the halfway point, Ireland had stormed to a 33-0 lead. Ronan O'Gara cemented his reputation by kicking 30 points.

FRANCE 25 IRELAND 27; 19th March; at Stade de France

15 Dempsey

14 Maggs

13 O'Driscoll [3 TRIES]

12 Henderson

11 Hickie

10 O'Gara [2 conversions]

9 Stringer

8 Foley

7 Dawson

6 Easterby

5 O'Kelly

4 Galwey

3 Hayes

2 Wood (c)

1 Clohessy

Replacement David Humphreys kicked eight crucial points as Ireland remarkably recovered from a 13-7 interval deficit.

IRELAND 19 WALES 23; 1st April; at Lansdowne Road

15 Dempsey

14 Horgan [TRY]

13 O'Driscoll

12 Henderson

11 Hickie

10 O'Gara [4 penalties, conversion]

9 Stringer

8 Foley

7 Dawson

6 Easterby

5 O'Kelly

4 Galwey

3 Hayes

2 Wood (c)

1 Clohessy

Wales scored a try in each half and led 10-6 at the halfway stage. Ireland couldn't quite match their Parisian heroics.