ROG's glory days in green
Published 16/03/2011 | 05:00
Played: 107; Started: 82; Won: 65; Lost: 40; Drawn: 2; Pts: 1,006; Tries: 16; Con: 163; Pens: 185; Drop goals: 15.
Ireland 44 Scotland 22
O'Gara's Ireland debut 11 years ago is regarded as a major turning point for Irish rugby. They had not beaten Scotland since 1988 and went into the match with five debutants following a 50-point hammering in Twickenham. O'Gara was the fulcrum in an attacking display that produced five tries.
Ireland 37 Scotland 16
Another five-try O'Gara-inspired affair against the Scots, which landed Ireland's first Triple Crown since 1985. That was Gordon D'Arcy's breakthrough season as a top-class centre and O'Gara got the best out of the Wexford man, who crossed for two tries to go with others for Geordan Murphy, David Wallace and Peter Stringer.
Ireland 32 South Africa 15
One of the finest Irish performances of the professional era, when a South African team containing Bryan Habana, John Smit, Juan Smith and Pierre Spies was dismantled. The Boks went on to claim the World Cup a year later but had no answer for the attack-minded Irish. With O'Gara pulling the strings, tries came from Shane Horgan, Andrew Trimble, Marcus Horan and David Wallace.
Ireland 43 England 13
A day remembered for the historical significance surrounding England playing at Croke Park also produced a stunning performance which blew the English away, with tries from Isaac Boss, Girvan Dempsey, Shane Horgan and David Wallace. O'Gara was in imperious form with his kicking and passing, amassing 21 points and expertly putting his strike runners into space. His cross-field chip for Horgan's try was perfection.