Tuesday 20 November 2018

Six of the best – The Triple Crowns of the modern era 1982

Ollie Campbell, who played for Ireland in 1982
Ollie Campbell, who played for Ireland in 1982

1982: A highly unlikely breakthrough that is regarded as the start of the modern era for Irish rugby as Ireland had taken the wooden spoon just 12 months earlier before losing twice to South Africa on a summer tour followed by defeat at home to Australia. However, an Ollie Campbell-inspired Ireland turned the form book on its head to secure a Triple Crown.


Ireland 20 Wales 12 (Lansdowne Road)

Ireland 16 England 15 (Twickenham)

Ireland 21 Scotland 12 (Lansdowne Road)


When the old Lansdowne Road was being torn down, Michael Kiernan's Triple Crown and Championship-sealing drop-goal against England was one of the most cited memories. Trevor Ringland scored two tries and made a try-saving tackle on John Rutherford at Murrayfield before Ireland won in Cardiff for the first time since 1967, setting the scene for Kiernan's big moment.


Ireland 18 Scotland 15 (Murrayfield)

Ireland 21 Wales 9 (Cardiff Arms Park)

Ireland 13 England 10 (Lansdowne Road)


The beginnings of success for the 'Golden Generation' but this year was probably best remembered for the scalping of then world champions England in their own back yard. Gordon D'Arcy's performances earned him the player of the tournament award and he scored two tries to seal the Triple Crown against Scotland in Dublin.


Ireland 36 Wales 15 (Lansdowne Road)

Ireland 19 England 13 (Twickenham)

Ireland 37 Scotland 16 (Lansdowne Road)


Coach Eddie O'Sullivan needed a big tournament after overseeing a miserable autumn and, with calls for his head from some corners, his side delivered. Wales were routed in Dublin and success over Scotland followed before a Shane Horgan-inspired Ireland stole a Triple Crown in the dying minutes of their Twickenham clash.


Ireland 31 Wales 5 (Lansdowne Road)

Ireland 15 Scotland 9 (Lansdowne Road)

Ireland 28 England 24 (Twickenham)


The opening of the home of the GAA, Croke Park, dominated the build-up to the 2007 campaign and while Vincent Clerc and France spoiled the party, Ireland recovered to beat England in a historic, emotional encounter and eventually pick up a third Triple Crown in four seasons.


Ireland 19 Wales 9 (Millennium Stadium)

Ireland 43 England 13 (Croke Park)

Ireland 19 Scotland 18 (Murrayfield)


At this stage, the Triple Crown no longer sated the appetite and Declan Kidney was charged with bringing home a first Grand Slam since 1948. The 'Golden Generation' delivered in dramatic style, with an entire campaign coming down to Stephen Jones' late penalty in Cardiff which, as it dropped short, confirmed Ireland as Grand Slam champions and a 10th Triple Crown. It remains our last piece of silverware.


Ireland 14 England 13 (Croke Park)

Ireland 22 Scotland 15 (Murrayfield)

Ireland 17 Wales 15 (Millennium Stadium)

Irish Independent

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