Ireland in the Five Nations of 1979


By Gary Watton
April 6 2013

After the depths of 1977, the Irish were now assembling another decent team. Progress was further demonstrated when the Oirish beat Australia in her own backyard in the summer, thus elevating their credentials in world rugby. A gifted new scrum half called Colin Patterson had emerged to partner Tony Ward, while Mike Gibson bowed out of international rugby after a distinguished decade-long career. Another Gibson entered the fray, as big Michael Gibson took his place at the back of the scrum in this campaign. To add to the confusion, there were two Spring brothers: Dick [a future Labour government minister] and Donal, a forward. The Welsh could only make do with a triple crown in this tournament, after they trounced England in Cardiff - not for the first or last time! More statistics can be viewed at www.espnscrum.com 

IRELAND 9 FRANCE 9; 20th January; at Lansdowne Road

15 Spring

14 Kennedy

13 McKibbin

12 McNaughton

11 McLennan

10 Ward [3 penalties]

9 Patterson

8 Gibson

7 Slattery (c)

6 Tucker

5 Steele

4 Keane

3 McLoughlin

2 Whelan

1 Orr

A converted second-half try by Alain Caussade ensured a share of the spoils. Ireland had led 6-3 at half time.

WALES 24 IRELAND 21; 3rd February; at Cardiff Arms Park

15 Spring

14 Kennedy

13 McKibbin

12 McNaughton

11 McLennan [TRY]

10 Ward [3 penalties, 2 conversions]

9 Patterson [TRY]

8 Gibson

7 Slattery (c)

6 Tucker

5 Steele

4 Keane

3 McLoughlin

2 Whelan

1 Orr

Both teams shared four tries in this thriller, as Steve Fenwick crucially kicked sixteen points against the visitors.

IRELAND 12 ENGLAND 7; 17th February; at Lansdowne Road

15 Spring

14 Finn

13 McKibbin

12 McNaughton

11 McLennan [TRY]

10 Ward [drop goal, penalty, conversion]

9 Patterson

8 Gibson

7 Slattery (c)

6 Duggan

5 Steele

4 Keane

3 McLoughlin

2 Whelan

1 Orr

A second-half try from England fly half Neil Bennett could not prevent a home win. Moss Finn won his first cap.

SCOTLAND 11 IRELAND 11; 3rd March; at Murrayfield

15 Elliott

14 Gibson

13 McKibbin

12 McNaughton

11 McLennan

10 Ward [penalty]

9 Patterson [2 TRIES]

8 Gibson

7 Slattery (c)

6 Duggan

5 Spring

4 Keane

3 McLoughlin

2 Whelan

1 Orr

Both teams scored a try in each half, none of which were converted. Colin Patterson was the Irish hero in this draw.

pqs: qs:
Ireland in the Five Nations of 1979
Posted by: Ireland (IP Logged)
Date: 06/04/2013 14:39

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