Ireland at the Rugby World Cup
The Ireland national rugby union team have played all seven Rugby World Cup tournaments, but have yet to appear in a semi-final. Strangely, Ireland has never played either South Africa or England in a RWC match.
Ireland has competed at every Rugby World Cup since the tournament was first held in Australia and New Zealand in 1987. The furthest Ireland have progressed at any World Cup has been to the quarter-finals, which they have made five times. After a loss to Wales, Ireland finished second in their pool in 1987 but were then knocked out by Australia in their quarter final in Sydney. In 1991 Ireland again lost only the one match in pool play (to Scotland). They again met the Australians in the quarter-finals, who defeated them by one point. Runner-up in their pool in 1995 to the All Blacks, Ireland were defeated by France in their quarter-final in Durban.
Ireland finished second in their pool in 1999, behind Australia and went into the quarter-final play-offs (a system exclusive to the 1999 tournament). There they lost to Argentina, and thus, not being a quarter-finalists, they were not given automatic entry into 2003. They defeated Russia and Georgia to go through as Europe 1. They finished second to Australia in their pool, and were knocked out by France in the quarter finals.
They started in the so-called "Group of death" with hosts France, Argentina, Namibia and Georgia in the 2007 Rugby World Cup. They played Namibia (the lowest ranked team in the World cup) in their opening game on 9 September which resulted in a narrow 32–17 win. Their progress was then put into doubt when they beat Georgia 14–10, not obtaining a bonus point. France's victory over Namibia 87–10 put Ireland's progression from the group in doubt, and this was compounded when the French defeated Ireland 25–3. Entering their last group match against Argentina, needing four tries to secure a bonus point without allowing Argentina anything, Ireland were defeated by 30 points to 15 and crashed out at the pool stage for the first time.
Ireland began their 2011 Rugby World Cup campaign on the back of four defeats in a series of warm-up tests in August, with a 22-10 victory over the United States in New Plymouth on 11 September. Failing to secure a bonus point against world cup minnows the United States, a team ranked far below Ireland, this was an unconvincing win. Contrary to preceding form, and indeed beating most commentators expectations, Ireland produced a memorable performance to defeat reigning tri-nations champions Australia 15-6 in their second pool game in Eden Park in Auckland on 17 September. This was the first Irish win against tri-nations opposition in the southern hemisphere in 32 years. It was also Ireland's first ever win against Australia in the Rugby World Cup. After comprehensive wins against Russia and Italy in the final two pool-stage matches, Ireland topped Pool C. This was the first ever time Ireland came first in a world cup pool. Ireland advanced to the quarter-finals to face Wales in Wellington. They were defeated 22-10 by the Welsh, thus ending their 2011 campaign.
- 1 By position
- 2 Matches
- 3 Hosting
- 4 References
Ireland has reached the quarter-finals five times, but have not progressed beyond that stage.
- 1987 Rugby World Cup Eliminated in quarter finals.
- 1991 Rugby World Cup Eliminated in quarter finals.
- 1995 Rugby World Cup Eliminated in quarter finals.
- 1999 Rugby World Cup Eliminated in quarter-final play-offs
- 2003 Rugby World Cup Eliminated in quarter finals.
- 2007 Rugby World Cup Eliminated in the pool stages.
- 2011 Rugby World Cup Eliminated in quarter finals.
Pool 2 matches –
|Pen: Kiernan (2)||Report|| Try: Ring|
Drop: Davies (2)
| Try: Cardinal
Pen: Rees (3)
|Report|| Tries: Crossan (2)|
Con: Kiernan (5)
Pen: Kiernan (2)
| Tries: Mullin (3)
Con: Ward (3)
Pen: Ward (2)
|Report||Pen: Amone (3)|
7 June 1987
| Tries: Burke (2)
Con: Lynagh (4)
Pen: Lynagh (3)
|Report|| Tries: MacNeill|
Con: Kiernan (2)
Pool B matches –
Team Won Drawn Lost For Against Points Scotland 3 0 0 122 36 9 Ireland 2 0 1 102 51 7 Japan 1 0 2 77 87 5 Zimbabwe 0 0 3 31 158 3
| Tries: Robinson (4), Popplewell (2), Geoghegan, Curtis
Con: Keyes (4)
Pen: Keyes (5)
|Report|| Tries: Dawson, Schultz|
| Tries: Mannion (2), O’Hara, Staples
Con: Keyes (2)
Pen: Keyes (4)
|Report|| Tries: Hayashi, Kajihara, Yoshida|
Con: Hosokawa (2)
| Tries: Shiel, Armstrong, S. Hastings
Con: G. Hastings (2)
Pen: G. Hastings (3)
|Report|| Pen: Keyes (4)|
20 October 1991
| Tries: Hamilton
Pen: Keyes (3)
|Report|| Tries: Campese (2), Lynagh|
Con: Lynagh (2)
Pool C matches –
Team Won Drawn Lost For Against Points New Zealand 3 0 0 225 45 9 Ireland 2 0 1 93 94 7 Wales 1 0 2 89 68 5 Japan 0 0 3 55 252 3
| Tries: David Corkery, Dennis McBride, Garrett Halpin
Con: Eric Elwood (2)
|Report|| Tries: Jonah Lomu (2), Josh Kronfeld, Frank Bunce, Glen Osborne|
Con: Andrew Mehrtens (3)
Pen: Andrew Mehrtens (4)
| Tries: Neil Franis, Simon Geoghegan, David Corkery, Eddie Halvey, Niall Hogan
Con: Paul Burke (6)
Pen: Paul Burke
|Report|| Tries: Sinali-Tui Latu, Ko Izawa, Seiji Hirao, Masanori Takura|
Con: Yoshihito Yoshida (4)
| Tries: Eddie Halvey, Nick Popplewell, Denis McBride
Con: Eric Elwood (3)
Pen: Eric Elwood
|Report|| Tries: Jonathan Humphreys, Hemi Taylor|
Con: Neil Jenkins (2)
Pen: Neil Jenkins (2)
Drop: Adrian Davies
Quarter finals –
|10 June – Ellis Park, Johannesburg|
|17 June – Kings Park Stadium, Durban|
|10 June – Kings Park Stadium, Durban|
|24 June – Ellis Park, Johannesburg (a.e.t.)|
|11 June – Newlands, Cape Town|
|18 June – Newlands, Cape Town|
|11 June – Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria|
|22 June – Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria|
| Tries: Philippe Saint-Andre, Émile Ntamack
Con: Thierry Lacroix
Pen: Thierry Lacroix (8)
|Report||Pen: Eric Elwood (4)|
Pool 5 matches –
Team Won Drawn Lost For Against Points Australia 3 0 0 135 31 6 Ireland 2 0 1 100 45 4 Romania 1 0 2 50 126 2 United States 0 0 3 52 135 0
| Tries: Keith Wood (4), Eric Elwood (2), Brian O'Driscoll, Justin Bishop
Con: David Humphreys (4)
Pen: David Humphreys (2)
|Report|| Tries: Kevin Dalzell|
Pen: Kevin Dalzell
|Pen: David Humphreys||Report|| Tries: Ben Tune, Tim Horan|
Con: Matthew Burke (2)
Pen: Matthew Burke (2), John Eales
| Tries: Conor O'Shea (2), Andrew Ward, Thomas Tierney, Dion O'Cuinneagain
Con: Eric Elwood (5)
Pen: Eric Elwood (2)
Drop goals: Brian O'Driscoll
|Report|| Tries: Daniel Sauan|
Pen: Petre Mitu (3)
| Pen: David Humphreys (7)
Drop: David Humphreys
|Report|| Tries: Diego Albanese|
Con: Gonzalo Quesada
Pen: Gonzalo Quesada (7)
Group A matches –
| Tries: S. Horgan, Wood, Hickie (2), Costello
Con: Humphreys (3), O'Gara
Pen: Humphreys (4)
|Report|| Tries: Penalty try, Maftei|
Con: Tofan, Vioreanu
| Tries: Quinlan (2), Dempsey, Hickie, Horan, Miller (2), G. Easterby, S. Horgan, Kelly
Con: O'Gara (7)
|Report|| Tries: Powell|
| Pen: Quesada (3)
Drop: Quesada, Corleto
|Report|| Tries: Quinlan|
Pen: Humphreys, O'Gara (2)
Referee: André Watson
| Tries: Smith
Pen: Flatley (3)
|Report|| Tries: O'Driscoll|
Pen: O'Gara (2)
|8 November – Telstra Dome, Melbourne|
|15 November – Telstra Stadium, Sydney|
|8 November – Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane|
|22 November – Telstra Stadium, Sydney|
|9 November – Telstra Dome, Melbourne|
|16 November – Telstra Stadium, Sydney|
|9 November – Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane|
|20 November – Telstra Stadium, Sydney|
| Tries: Magne 3' c
Dominici 29' c
Harinordoquy 33' c
Crenca 47' c
Con: Michalak (4)
Pen: Michalak (5)
|Report|| Tries: Maggs 52' c|
O'Driscoll (2) 65' c, 80+2' c
Con: Humphreys (3)
Pool D matches –
Ireland qualified for the 2011 RWC automatically.
11 September 2011
|Ireland||22 – 10||United States|
| Try: Bowe (2) 40' c, 60' c
Best 56' m
Con: Sexton (1/1)
Pen: Sexton (1/5) 17'
|Report|| Try: Emerick 80+' c|
Con: Malifa (1/1)
Pen: Paterson (1/2) 54'
Man of the Match:
17 September 2011
|Australia||6 – 15||Ireland|
| Pen: O'Connor (2/4) 11', 23'
||Report|| Pen: Sexton (2/5) 17', 49'|
O'Gara (2/2) 62', 71'
Drop: Sexton 19'
Man of the Match:
25 September 2011
|Ireland||62 – 12||Russia|
| Try: McFadden 10' c
O'Brien 13' c
Boss 38' c
Earls(2) 39' c, 48' c
Trimble 40+' m
Kearney 65' c
Jennings 73' c
Buckley 79' m
Con: O'Gara (6/7)
Pen: O'Gara (1/1) 6'
|Report|| Try: Artemyev 50' c|
Simplikevich 59' m
Con: Rachkov (1/2)
Man of the Match:
2 October 2011
|Ireland||36 – 6||Italy|
| Try: O'Driscoll 47' c
Earls (2) 52' c, 80+' c
Con: O'Gara (2/2)
Pen: O'Gara (4/5) 7', 18', 35', 44'
Sexton (1/1) 70'
|Report|| Pen: Mi. Bergamasco (2/3) 11', 21'|
Man of the Match:
|8 October 18:00 (05:00 UTC) – Wellington|
|15 October 21:00 (08:00 UTC) – Auckland|
|8 October 20:30 (07:30 UTC) – Auckland|
|23 October 21:00 (08:00 UTC) – Auckland|
|9 October 18:00 (05:00 UTC) – Wellington|
|16 October 21:00 (08:00 UTC) – Auckland|
|9 October 20:30 (07:30 UTC) – Auckland|
|21 October 20:30 (07:30 UTC) – Auckland|
|Ireland||10 – 22||Wales|
| Try: Earls 45' c
Con: O'Gara (1/1)
Pen: O'Gara (1/1) 24'
|Report|| Try: Williams 3' c|
Phillips 51' m
J. Davies 64' c
Con: Priestland (2/3)
Pen: Halfpenny (1/1) 29'
The Rugby World Cup is held every four years, and tends to alternate between the northern and southern hemispheres. Every northern hemisphere tournament so far has been held in Europe, and in general Ireland usually hosts some games when it is held there.
The 1991 Rugby World Cup final was played in England, while pool and finals games were played all over European nations. Pool A, which England was in, saw matches played mostly in London, though games were also taken to Leicester, Gloucester and Otley. Pool B games, which involved European nations, Scotland and Ireland, had all their games in either Dublin or Edinburgh with one game being played in Belfast. Pool C, which Wales was a part of, had all their games in Cardiff, with two taken to Pontypridd and one played in Llanelli. Pool D, which France were a part of, saw games played in Agen, Bayonne, Béziers and Grenoble. None of the quarter-finals or semi-finals were played in England. The final was played at the Rugby Football Union's Twickenham.
The following Irish stadiums were used:
The format of the pool games was similar to the 1991 World Cup in England. All Pool A games were held in Scotland, Pool B games in England, Pool C games in France and Pool D games were all held in Wales. Second round play-offs and the quarter-finals were held a variety of European venues, the semi-finals were held at Twickenham Stadium, London. The third place play-off and the final were held at the new Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
The following Irish stadiums were used:
The 2007 competition was held in France, with some games played in Wales and Scotland. There was a substantial increase in the overall capacity of stadiums compared to the 2003 Rugby World Cup, as the smallest venue at the 2007 tournament was 33,900. France won the right to host the event in 2003. Three matches were played at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, two Pool B games that featured Wales and as well as a quarter-final. Two Pool C matches were held at Edinburgh's Murrayfield. Ireland were also offered to host matches at Lansdowne Road in Dublin, but had to decline the offer as construction work was scheduled to begin on the stadium. The semifinals and final were held at Stade de France, Saint-Denis.
- Davies, Gerald (2004) The History of the Rugby World Cup (Sanctuary Publishing Ltd, (ISBN 1860746020)
- Farr-Jones, Nick, (2003). Story of the Rugby World Cup, Australian Post Corporation, (ISBN 0-642-36811-2)