Paddy on Tour Down Under - Number 5



  • Not many people might know this, but Ireland has had 4 tours of Australia - 1967, 1979, 1994, 1999. The first two were old-style tours involving matches against club teams as well as one or two test matches against the Wallabies. Both sides have won two tours and lost two. Tour Number 5 begins on 3 June 2018 and it promises to settle a few scores, move the ledger in favour of one, and probably create a few bragging and bagging rights along the way.

    Whilst Ireland's history - home and away - against South Africa and New Zealand is littered with one failure after another in the amateur days, surprisingly their record against Australia is pockmarked with wins at home and on the road, albeit matches were held less frequently in BSE - Baggy Shorts Era. Australia won the first two tests in 1927 and 1947 in Landsdowne Road in Dublin, and then on the Aussie's tour of Britain, Ireland and France in 1958, Ireland got their first test win on the board. And over the next 20 years, the teams met 7 times, with Ireland winning six of them, including the only test in Sydney as part of their 6-game 1967 tour of Australia.

    Ireland's last two away wins in Australia were those in the famous 1979 tour when the Irish team had their most successful winning patch, playing 8 games, including two tests, and lost just once against local club, Sydney.

    Ollie Campbell, Mike Gibson, Terry Kennedy, Paul McNaughton (Greystones), Tony Ward, Willie Duggan, Moss Keane, Fergus Slattery were some of the more well-known names on that tour, with Campbell getting the headlines when he replaced Tony Ward at the starting 10, and helped win the day. Across the two tests, Ireland scored 36 points (when tries were worth 4), Campbell kicked 28 of them bringing his total to 60 points for the tour. He was named player of the tour. Ward, by his own admission in his autobiography, never played as well again and laid blame squarely at the manager and coach’s door for how they handled it. Campbell returned home the hero of the hour by helping to claim the first individual tour victory by a northern team in the Southern Hemisphere. (France had won 8 out of 9 matches but drawn the first test on a tour in 1972.)

    He and the team were cheered to the rafters. Ireland won the Five Nations in 1982, shared it with France in 1983 and won outright again in 1985. And then the curtain came down. And the roof started to fall in.

    Two further 2-test tours against Australia followed in 1994 and 1999 - this time Ireland lost all the test matches. And won only a few mid-week games too - 2 from 8 in 1994 and just 1 in 1999 . Those two tours formed part of probably the lowest period in Irish rugby when Ireland played 11 tests against Australia, 8 vs NZ and 6 vs South Africa between 1980 and 2002 - they lost every test game. Despite their successes in early 1980s, their record in that period against Five/Six Nations opponents was not much better - 3 wins from 24 against France, 7 from 24 vs both England and Scotland, and even losing 3 from 8 against Italy.

    From 2002 onwards, the fortunes of the Irish provinces and test side changed - first under Eddie O'Sullivan, winning tests again against Australia and for the first time against South Africa as well as moving up from being regular wooden spooners in the 90's to competing at the top in the new Six Nations until finally achieving a Grand Slam in 2009 with Declan Kidney.

    Now, it’s the turn of Joe Schmidt to bring the Ireland squad down-under for a three-test series in June. Expectations are high with Ireland’s recent win record against the Wallabies, 3-2 in the last five matches, with two wins at home, and one in NZ at the RWC. Their losses include one in Brisbane 22-15 in June 2010, the last time Wallaby fans saw Ireland on Australian soil. On that day, newcomer, Johnny Sexton, kicked all of Ireland’s 15 points in the first half, going in at the break down 16-15. But the Declan Kidney-coached team, off the back of a 97 point shellacking from the All Blacks and NZ Maori, and down a few key players, couldn’t overtake the Wallabies as Giteau notched another couple of penalties to finish them off.

    Eight years on from Brisbane, both teams are in different places and ranking. Cheika is hoping to fashion a team that can compete and win in the Rugby Championship. He needs a decent scalp on his belt going into that battle. Schmidt has the 6N in his back pocket and a team that is beginning to hum nicely with a mix of old heads and young hearts running a new 12-match streak.

    England, Scotland & Wales have all announced squads with development and player rest on their minds as coaches seek to add depth to their squads for RWC 2019. Irish pundits and fans have been making similar noises querying whether players such as Sexton, Murray, Furlong, Stander should rest up on their summer hols and let the younger Turks get more time and experience. Schmidt has faced this before, through injury rather than choice, when he brought a relatively raw squad to South Africa and gave much needed game time to some new faces including Jackson, Furlong, Henderson, Roux, Stander, and Marmion.

    So should Schmidt now choose to do the same in Oz? He'll want to win the series, but he needs to give more time to the newbies.

    Schmidt issued his touring squad for the Australia tour this week.

    Ireland Squad (Summer Tour 2018, Australia)

    FORWARDS (18)
    Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster) Captain 111 caps
    Tadhg Beirne (Scarlets) uncapped
    Jack Conan (Old Belvedere/Leinster) 7 caps
    Sean Cronin (St Mary's College/Leinster) 61 caps
    Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster) 23 caps
    Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster) 78 caps
    Iain Henderson (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 38 caps
    Rob Herring (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 3 caps
    Dan Leavy (UCD/Leinster) 9 caps
    Jack McGrath (St Mary's College/Leinster) 47 caps
    Jordi Murphy (Lansdowne/Leinster) 20 caps
    Peter O'Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster) 47 caps
    Andrew Porter (UCD/Leinster) 7 caps
    Quinn Roux (Galwegians/Connacht) 5 caps
    James Ryan (UCD/Leinster) 8 caps
    John Ryan (Cork Constitution/Munster) 13 caps
    CJ Stander (Shannon/Munster) 23 caps
    Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster) 58 caps

    BACKS (14)
    Bundee Aki (Galwegians/Connacht) 7 caps
    Ross Byrne (UCD/Leinster) uncapped
    Joey Carbery (Clontarf/Leinster) 10 caps
    Andrew Conway (Garryowen/Munster) 6 caps
    John Cooney (Terenure College RFC/Ulster) 1 cap
    Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster) 67 caps
    Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Leinster) 33 caps
    Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster) 83 caps
    Jordan Larmour (St Mary's College/Leinster) 3 caps
    Kieran Marmion (Corinthians/Connacht) 21 caps
    Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster) 64 caps
    Garry Ringrose (UCD/Leinster) 13 caps
    Johnny Sexton (St Mary's College/Leinster) 73 caps
    Jacob Stockdale (Ballynahnch/Ulster) 9 caps

    IRELAND SUMMER TOUR 2018 FIXTURES

    Saturday 9th June, 2018
    Australia v IRELAND
    Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, KO 20.05 local (11.05 IRL)

    Saturday 16th June, 2018
    Australia v IRELAND
    AAMI Park, Melbourne, KO 20.05 local (11.05 IRL)

    Saturday 23rd June, 2018
    Australia v IRELAND
    Allianz Park, Sydney KO 20.05 local (11.05 IRL)

    Edit: updated some info since I first posted this for accuracy.



  • Good write up mate. I hadn’t realised what a decent record your boys had v Aus.



  • Great write up

    @pot-hale said in Paddy on Tour Down Under - Number 5:

    ... old-style tours involving matches against club teams as well as one or two test matches
    ...
    ... including two tests, and lost just once against local club, Sydney.
    ...

    [Pedant]
    If I may be picky most of the other tour matches would likely be against state based rep teams. Even Sydney would be a rep team (usually indistinguishable with NSW ... very few Country players would make the state team).

    Most places would refer to them as provincial unions. Not sure in Aus as they're based around States.

    Just important to distinguish them from clubs.
    [/Pedant]



  • Across the two tests, Ireland scored 36 points (when tries were worth 4), Campbell kicked 28 of them

    So they scored two tries in two tests? Or did Campbell nab a couple of 4 pointers? Was capable of scoring a try or two.



  • Just to flag the Raeburn Shield will also be on the line in these matches as Ireland are the current holders.

    Could be the route by which the ALL Blacks get it back in the Rugby Championship 😀 (though I think Ireland might be too good in reality)



  • Awesome write up Pot Hale



  • Very good work PH, great to get a perspective from outside the long white cloud.

    The three tours this time are going to be crackers. France are never easy, and are one NH side that don't seem to have a mental block about playing NZ in NZ.

    The SA Eng games could make or break a coach - either way, there is loads riding on it.

    Aus Ire shoudl be cracking tight games. Should be great to watch.



  • @booboo said in Paddy on Tour Down Under - Number 5:

    Across the two tests, Ireland scored 36 points (when tries were worth 4), Campbell kicked 28 of them

    So they scored two tries in two tests? Or did Campbell nab a couple of 4 pointers? Was capable of scoring a try or two.

    Pattison, the Irish scrum-half scored two tries in the first test.
    The second test was a tight contest - 9-3 including two droppies from Ollie. Remember watching him and Ward - they were bloody good. Met them at a charity function a year or two ago - very friendly and approachable and willing to have a good natter about the tour and other games. I think I nearly bowed when I was introduced to them.



  • @nzzp said in Paddy on Tour Down Under - Number 5:

    Very good work PH, great to get a perspective from outside the long white cloud.

    The three tours this time are going to be crackers. France are never easy, and are one NH side that don't seem to have a mental block about playing NZ in NZ.

    The SA Eng games could make or break a coach - either way, there is loads riding on it.

    Aus Ire shoudl be cracking tight games. Should be great to watch.

    Agreed. When the Tour schedule came out in 2010, these were the ones that I thought were the most balanced and competitive. You’re quite right about the French - they simply don’t seem to buy into the nerves of an NZ tour.
    SA v Eng has lots of matching styles and colonial clashes. Aus v Irl will be a Paddy Love/Hate/Love fest. I’ve loads of mates going down, and am still thinking about it myself (never been).



  • @booboo said in Paddy on Tour Down Under - Number 5:

    Great write up

    @pot-hale said in Paddy on Tour Down Under - Number 5:

    ... old-style tours involving matches against club teams as well as one or two test matches
    ...
    ... including two tests, and lost just once against local club, Sydney.
    ...

    [Pedant]
    If I may be picky most of the other tour matches would likely be against state based rep teams. Even Sydney would be a rep team (usually indistinguishable with NSW ... very few Country players would make the state team).

    Most places would refer to them as provincial unions. Not sure in Aus as they're based around States.

    Just important to distinguish them from clubs.
    [/Pedant]

    Don’t mind pedantry when I’m wrong, Booboo. Thanks for that, I’ll make sure to correct it for re-posting elsewhere.



  • @pot-hale said in Paddy on Tour Down Under - Number 5:

    Don’t mind pedantry when I’m wrong, Booboo. Thanks for that, I’ll make sure to correct it for re-posting elsewhere.

    also drives some weird behaviour. We dno't have 'clubs' or 'clubrooms' per se - just venues that people play in. Strong provincial loyalty, but followign a union has a different feel to following a club.

    Also leads to a more collective ownership model (the provincial unions are owned by the clubs as I understand it), with some revenue flow from NZR



  • I was going to include a tour in 2003 that included a test against Australia and Tonga and Samoa - rather quaintly (and probably inaccurately) titled ‘2003 Ireland Rugby Union Tour of the South Seas’. Ireland were hockeyed 45-16 in Perth, but won convincingly in Apia and Nuku’Alofa with a young fella called O’Gara stepping in for Humphreys.



  • @pot-hale said in Paddy on Tour Down Under - Number 5:

    @booboo said in Paddy on Tour Down Under - Number 5:

    Across the two tests, Ireland scored 36 points (when tries were worth 4), Campbell kicked 28 of them

    So they scored two tries in two tests? Or did Campbell nab a couple of 4 pointers? Was capable of scoring a try or two.

    Pattison, the Irish scrum-half scored two tries in the first test.
    The second test was a tight contest - 9-3 including two droppies from Ollie. Remember watching him and Ward - they were bloody good. Met them at a charity function a year or two ago - very friendly and approachable and willing to have a good natter about the tour and other games. I think I nearly bowed when I was introduced to them.

    Have been re-watching some old games including the Lions 1983 tour to NZ. By God Campbell was good. He really shone in a losing cause that year. It was great to see his kicking routine, line up the ball, step back, up on tip-toes then bang! Over the bar. Took about a quarter of the time blokes do now.



  • @pot-hale

    If Irish fortunes started to change in 2002 until peaking in 2009, surely the man primarily responsible was the man who was coach for most of that time?

    It certainly looked like it to me at the time.



  • @chester-draws said in Paddy on Tour Down Under - Number 5:

    @pot-hale

    If Irish fortunes started to change in 2002 until peaking in 2009, surely the man primarily responsible was the man who was coach for most of that time?

    It certainly looked like it to me at the time.

    Yes. Although, there’s an argument that Gatland started the foundations post RWC Lens 1999 loss to Argentina. Eddie O’Sullivan moved them on in terms of back play but was always the nearly man and it took Kidney to get them over the line in 09.



  • @pot-hale said in Paddy on Tour Down Under - Number 5:

    @chester-draws said in Paddy on Tour Down Under - Number 5:

    @pot-hale

    If Irish fortunes started to change in 2002 until peaking in 2009, surely the man primarily responsible was the man who was coach for most of that time?

    It certainly looked like it to me at the time.

    Yes.

    No need to flower it all up mate.



  • @catogrande said in Paddy on Tour Down Under - Number 5:

    @pot-hale said in Paddy on Tour Down Under - Number 5:

    @chester-draws said in Paddy on Tour Down Under - Number 5:

    @pot-hale

    If Irish fortunes started to change in 2002 until peaking in 2009, surely the man primarily responsible was the man who was coach for most of that time?

    It certainly looked like it to me at the time.

    Yes.

    No need to flower it all up mate.

    :). I gave in and added more detail.



  • I'm not really suggesting Gatland moved them all the way to the top, because especially then he wasn't too innovative with the backs.

    But he seemed to bring in a harder edge somehow. Instead of running around like fierce headless chooks, the pack started to operate as a pack.

    It's why I think he'd be excellent at the Blues. They don't need finesse at this point.



  • @pot-hale said in Paddy on Tour Down Under - Number 5:

    @nzzp said in Paddy on Tour Down Under - Number 5:

    Very good work PH, great to get a perspective from outside the long white cloud.

    The three tours this time are going to be crackers. France are never easy, and are one NH side that don't seem to have a mental block about playing NZ in NZ.

    The SA Eng games could make or break a coach - either way, there is loads riding on it.

    Aus Ire shoudl be cracking tight games. Should be great to watch.

    Agreed. When the Tour schedule came out in 2010, these were the ones that I thought were the most balanced and competitive. You’re quite right about the French - they simply don’t seem to buy into the nerves of an NZ tour.
    SA v Eng has lots of matching styles and colonial clashes. Aus v Irl will be a Paddy Love/Hate/Love fest. I’ve loads of mates going down, and am still thinking about it myself (never been).

    Sorry in advance to lads (and maybe factor into your multi's). Last AB's game I went to in NZ was vs France at Carisbrook. We lost from memory.Last two in Aussie I have been to were Abs vs Aussie in syd2015(loss)and suncorp last year.

    Will be in dunedin this year....



  • @chester-draws said in Paddy on Tour Down Under - Number 5:

    I'm not really suggesting Gatland moved them all the way to the top, because especially then he wasn't too innovative with the backs.

    But he seemed to bring in a harder edge somehow. Instead of running around like fierce headless chooks, the pack started to operate as a pack.

    It's why I think he'd be excellent at the Blues. They don't need finesse at this point.

    I think I’m confused by your original comment/question about the person in charge between 2002 and 2009 being responsible. Eddie O’Sullivan was coach from 2001-2008.