Ireland
Ireland in the Six Nations of 2003
By Gary Watton
April 23 2013


A Gleeson try

This was a most exciting tournament for the Oirish contingent as both the Ireland and England teams journeyed through the Six Nations unscathed as they headed towards a showdown in Dublin to decide who would take the grand slam and the championship. After their near misses of 1999, 2000, and in Dublin in 2001, England were not to be denied this time. They were after all in the midst of a run which propelled them to World Cup glory in November of this year. Ireland's encouraging haul of four wins out of five was not quite matched by their World Cup adventure where they failed to surmount the hurdle of France in the quarter-finals. in terms of personnel, Leicester's gifted full back and winger Geordan Murphy caught the eye in this year, leaving Eddie O'Sullivan with the enviable headache of deciding between the dependable Girvan Dempsey and the mercurial Murphy.

SCOTLAND 6 IRELAND 36; 16th February; at Murrayfield

15 Dempsey

14 Horgan

13 O'Driscoll (c)

12 Maggs

11 Hickie [TRY]

10 Humphreys [TRY, 5 penalties, 3 conversions]

9 Stringer

8 Foley

7 Gleeson

6 Costello

5 O'Kelly

4 Longwell

3 Hayes

2 Byrne

1 Corrigan

David Humphreys helped himself to 26 points and replacement Geordan Murphy weighed in with a try as well.

ITALY 13 IRELAND 37; 22nd February; at the Stadio Flaminio

15 Murphy [TRY]

14 Kelly [TRY]

13 O'Driscoll (c) [TRY]

12 Maggs

11 Hickie

10 Humphreys [TRY, 2 penalties, 3 conversions]

9 Stringer [TRY]

8 Foley

7 Gleeson

6 Costello

5 O'Kelly

4 Longwell

3 Hayes

2 Byrne

1 Corrigan

Ireland comfortably led by eighteen points to three at the halfway point, and they outscored Italy by five tries to one.

IRELAND 15 FRANCE 12; 8th March; at Lansdowne Road

15 Murphy [drop goal]

14 Kelly

13 O'Driscoll (c)

12 Maggs

11 Hickie

10 Humphreys [4 penalties]

9 Stringer

8 Foley

7 Gleeson

6 Costello

5 O'Kelly

4 Longwell

3 Hayes

2 Byrne

1 Horan

Francois Gelez and David Humphreys traded four penalties each, but a rare GeordanMurphy drop goal proved decisive.

WALES 24 IRELAND 25; 22nd March; at the Millennium Stadium

15 Murphy

14 Bishop

13 O'Driscoll (c)

12 Maggs

11 Hickie

10 Humphreys [4 penalties]

9 Stringer

8 Foley

7 Gleeson [2 TRIES]

6 Quinlan

5 O'Kelly

4 Cullen

3 Hayes

2 Byrne

1 Horan

Two converted second-half tries and a Stephen Jones drop goal for Wales were thwarted by a late Ronan O'Gara drop goal.

IRELAND 6 ENGLAND 42; 30th March; at Lansdowne Road

15 Murphy

14 Bishop

13 O'Driscoll (c)

12 Maggs

11 Hickie

10 Humphreys [drop goal, penalty]

9 Stringer

8 Foley

7 Gleeson 

6 Costello

5 O'Kelly

4 Longwell

3 Hayes

2 Byrne

1 Horan

The centre Will Greenwood grabbed two of England's five tries as they successfully built upon their 13-6 half time lead.