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6 Ways To Beat England In The Six Nations

6 Ways To Beat England In The Six Nations
Conor Neville
By Conor Neville
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Lessons from history...

1. Play them in a year ending in '4'

We have this one nailed down. Ireland have a formidable record at Twickenham in years ending in '4.' This is in stark contrast, for instance, to years ending in '8' where we have routinely been hammered. Some sublime tries from the likes of Mike Gibson, Simon Geoghegan and Girvan Dempsey have helped Ireland to victory in Twickenham in 1964, 1974, 1994, and 2004. You might notice that one year has been left out there. In 1984, we were defeated 12-9 by England on our way to that year's Wooden Spoon. Of course that sequence implies that we may be due a loss tomorrow but there's no point dwelling on that.


Mike Gibson's first year in the side, playing at out-half. He makes a rapier like break in the second half to set up a try for Pat Casey, one of the best ever scored by an Irish side.


Ireland won the Five Nations Championship in 1974 and they tore through England here scoring four tries to one. Gibson nabbed two of them (by now a Centre), no.8 Terry Moore went over for a try and scrum half Johnny Moloney scored a breakaway try.


The match that represents Simon Geoghegan's legacy. Ireland won 13-12 against a formidable English side who dominated the championship in the first half of the 1990s. The result prevented Will Carling, Jeremy Guscott, Brian Moore and co collecting another Grand Slam.



England's first loss at Twickenham in about five years. A phenomenal try early in the second half was the game's pivotal score. The move began with a brilliant break from the on fire Gordon D'arcy on halfway and ended with Girvan Dempsey sliding in in the corner for the try as Ben Cohen slid in to kick him in the stomach.



2. Get the players' sisters tickets near the front row

Back in the days when every Irish try in Lansdowne Road used to precipitate a pitch invasion, Mick Galwey went over in the corner to seal a 17-3 victory over England in 1993. There followed the inevitable pitch invasion, when those supporters lucky enough to be sitting at the corner of the Lansdowne Road end/West End ran onto the pitch to tousle Galwey's head and tug at his jersey and generally leap about the place. As every other pitch invader was making their way back to their seats (of their own volition by the way. Stewards kept out of it), a small woman ran onto the pitch and called after Galwey as he was strutting away, still mid-fist pump. It was his sister wanting to congratulate him. As Gerry Thornley pointed out here "she didn't see him before the game, she didn't see him after the game..."

3. Don't be afraid to engage in some trash talk 

We apologise for any offence caused. We do not endorse the sentiments of Jerry Flannery in this clip. Steve Thompson is a fine gentleman. Nonetheless, this is when the referee's mic comes into its own.

4. Psyche yourself up watching images of Ginger McLoughlin hauling the entire English pack over the line in '82

The ultimate forward's try as Gerry 'Ginger' McLoughlin lugged the English backline over the line, shoved on by the Irish forwards and Trevor Ringland. As McLoughlin was a Limerick prop (now a Labour councillor in Limerick City by the way) feel free to accentuate the class differences between him and the English players who couldn't stop him getting over the line. Refer to the limp English boys (the Rose's and the Woodward's and the Winterbottom's) as 'Eton's finest' or 'wet Harrow boys' or some such other inverted snobbish epithets.

5. Never underestimate the value of a good chip and chase late in the game

One of Ireland's most memorable Twickenham victories. In the final three minutes, Ireland trailed 24-21 and had possession in their own half, O Gara tried a rather speculative chip and chase, the ball skittered away from the English cover and O'Driscoll shot onto it... A couple of minutes later Huw Watkins (a far superior television match official than Belfast's Simon McDowell) was saying the magic words "You may award the try" after Shane Horgan touched down.

6. Be scrupulously respectful of the English side before the game

A potentially unpopular one here but Ireland have done well when they've suppressed the rancour beforehand. In 1972, the English side (unlike the Welsh and the Scots) decided to turn up and play in Lansdowne Road despite the scary stuff that was going down. The English side received a rare standing ovation from the crowd when they ran onto the pitch. And of course you know about 2007 when we managed to not to shout out "ye fuckin' English pricks" while they belted out God Save the Queen in the temple of Irish nationalism, Croke Park. On both occasions the English got spanked afterwards.


Thanks to Conor Ryan for his fantastic archive of Youtube videos

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