Ireland
Ireland in the Six Nations of 2012
By Gary Watton
April 27 2013

Another year slipped by without a repetition of the grand slam achievement of 2009. The trouble was that Ireland did have the personnel to climb to the European apex, especially given the dominance of three of Ireland's provinces in European club rugby. In the event, the Welsh sneaked an away win on the first weekend. The dragon went on to obtain its third grand slam of the century, but such were the fine margins between Wales and Ireland in their epic encounter that it was a painful reminder that the men in green could and should have been taking the honours at the end of the tournament. However, Ireland then proceeded to throw away a healthy half time lead in Paris before the Oirish pack collapsed at rain-sodden Twickenham on Saint Patrick's Day. It was enough to drive any despairing Irish supporter to copious amounts of Guinness!

IRELAND 21 WALES 23; 5th February; at Lansdowne Road

15 Kearney

14 Bowe [TRY]

13 McFadden

12 D'Arcy

11 Trimble

10 Sexton [3 penalties, conversion]

9 Murray

8 Heaslip

7 O'Brien

6 Ferris

5 O'Connell (c)

4 O'Callaghan

3 Ross

2 Best [TRY]

1 Healy

Ireland led 21-15 with five minutes left, before a George North try and Leigh Halfpenny penalty silenced the home crowd.

IRELAND 42 ITALY 10; 25th February; at Lansdowne Road

15 Kearney

14 Bowe [2 TRIES]

13 Earls [TRY]

12 D'Arcy

11 Trimble [TRY]

10 Sexton [3 penalties, 4 conversions]

9 Murray

8 Heaslip

7 O'Brien

6 Ferris

5 O'Connell (c)

4 O'Callaghan

3 Ross

2 Best [TRY]

1 Healy

Replacement prop Tom Court added a late try in this rout. This match had been deadlocked at 10-10 after 35 minutes.

FRANCE 17 IRELAND 17; 4th March; at the Stade de France

15 Kearney

14 Bowe [2 TRIES]

13 Earls

12 D'Arcy

11 Trimble

10 Sexton [penalty, 2 conversions]

9 Murray

8 Heaslip

7 O'Brien

6 Ferris

5 O'Connell (c)

4 O'Callaghan

3 Ross

2 Best

1 Healy

Four Morgan Parra penalties and a Wesley Fofana try ensured a home point after Ireland led 17-6 at the halfway stage.

IRELAND 32 Scotland 14; 10th March; at Lansdowne Road

15 Kearney

14 Bowe 

13 Earls

12 D'Arcy

11 Trimble [TRY]

10 Sexton [2 penalties, 3 conversions]

9 Murray

8 Heaslip

7 O'Mahony

6 Ferris

5 Ryan

4 O'Callaghan

3 Ross

2 Best (c) [TRY]

1 Healy

Replacements Eoin Reddan and Fergus McFadden added to the tries' avalanche. Scotland's Richie Gray also scored one.

ENGLAND 30 IRELAND 9; 17th March; at Twickenham

15 Kearney

14 Bowe 

13 Earls

12 D'Arcy

11 Trimble

10 Sexton [3 penalties]

9 Reddan

8 Heaslip

7 O'Brien

6 Ferris

5 Ryan

4 O'Callaghan

3 Ross

2 Best (c)

1 Healy

England only led 9-6 at the halfway point, but with Mike Ross replaced by Tom Court, the Irish scrum was dismantled.