Video: Four of the great challenges by Irish players including James McClean's cruncher

Ireland's James McClean looks towards Poland's Arkadiusk Milik as he lies on the pitch after his tough challenge Reuters / Cathal McNaughton

Cormac Byrne

It's not something we see all that often nowadays, but a fierce tackle can set the tone in a game. Here are some brilliant efforts from Irish players down through the years.

1) James McClean (Republic of Ireland v Poland, March 2015)

The Derrymen entered the fray last night like a man possessed and ran positively at the Poles.

Ireland were looking a little jaded in their attempts to claw back Poland when the Wigan Athletic winger turned Poland’s Arkadiusz Milik inside out with a powerful tackle.

The hit reinvigorated Ireland, who would eventually fight back to earn a 1-1 draw.

2) Roy Keane (Republic of Ireland v Netherlands, September, 2001)

This tackle will be forever remembered as one of the greatest moments in the international career of Roy Keane.

The might Dutch came to town needing a win but when scythed down the flying winger Marc Overmars, the Netherlands knew they were in for a game.

You could walk for a similar tackle in the current game.

3) Richard Dunne (Russia v Republic of Ireland, September 2011)

Richard Dunne gave one of the greatest individual displays ever seen from a Republic of Ireland international to earn a goalless draw in Moscow on our way to qualification for Euro 2012.

The highlight of his courageous performance was a clearance off the line that was scarcely believable.

4) Paul McGrath (Republic of Ireland v Italy, 1994 World Cup)

Clearly struggling with two busted knees, McGrath was immense when faced with Roberto Baggio in Ireland's 1-0 win over the Italians in New York.

Partnered with Phil Babb, the former Manchester United man gave an inspirational performance and blocked a Baggio with his face having already cleared the ball twice at one stage in the Giants Stadium.