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By Tony Ward, Justin Doyle

Eire could be a powerhouse in overseas rugby in 2015, with its membership groups of Leinster, Munster and Ulster perennially acting brilliantly in Europe, yet to many folks of a definite age the overdue Nineteen Seventies and early Eighties have been a golden interval, too. although the game used to be thrillingly amateurish in spirit in addition to business enterprise, their most famed membership win, arguably, used to be an exhilarating functionality from a Munster group led via Tony Ward who defeated the potent All Blacks in 1979 at Thormond Park - ranked as a vintage and nonetheless the single time an Irish workforce have overwhelmed the Kiwis. eire may then get pleasure from their first Triple Crown luck for thirty-three years in 1982 with Ward jostling with the opposite nice Irish fly-half, Ollie Campbell, to guide the group. Ward used to be a mercurial expertise. very similar to the maligned Danny Cipriani this present day, his self-belief and specific approach of taking part in the sport he sought after his group to, marked him out as an extraordinary expertise. within the days of restricted internationals, and few far-flung excursions, he might in basic terms amass nineteen caps for his kingdom, in addition to unmarried a journey of South Africa with the British and Irish Lions in 1980. even supposing the Lions misplaced the sequence 1-4, Ward may set the list for a Lion, scoring 18 issues in a try out, which nonetheless stands today.
He will now inform his tale, of the triumphs and disappointments, in addition to the nice friendships he made, and maximum fits he performed in. he'll both be forthright in what he thinks of the sport this day, and the way eire will reasonable within the Rugby global Cup and past to the Six international locations in 2016. For any fan of Irish rugby, at no matter what point you play, this can be an elegiac memoir to cherish.

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Lansdowne highway used to be packed to near-capacity. regardless of lacking that ‘semi-trial’ online game in Cork I were integrated within the match-day squad as conceal for Paul Dean. Kiernan was once picked at the left wing with Moss Finn along Brendan Mullin within the centre. Mullin was once considered one of 5 new caps in addition to Michael Bradley, Willie Anderson, Philip Matthews and Willie Sexton. We have been education at Suttonians within the build-up to the sport while the trainer seemed at my shoulder and engaged in just a little chit-chat. simply because every little thing was once up within the air, not anyone knew who the kicker will be, least of all Doyler himself. the overall feeling was once that Moss Finn was once the guy as he had a section extra goal-kicking adventure with UCC and Cork Con than Michael, who had very little tune list in any respect. I watched them either kick for roughly twenty mins, after which Doyler requested me who i presumed could be Ireland’s first-choice kicker. I stated: ‘Does it really count? when you've got your brain made up already. ’ He spoke back: ‘Yea, Moss Finn. ’ I spoke back: ‘I imagine you're making an important mistake. Michael is much extra usual as a kicker. ’ Doyler caught to his weapons and Mossie begun as his most well liked kicking selection. yet Michael took over within the moment interval and the remainder is historical past. From 6–0 down, he kicked 3 consequences in quickly succession to provide us a 9–6 lead with round twenty mins left to play. ‘Mick the Kick’, as he was once quickly to be christened via the men, had arrived. however the Aussies, now not for the 1st time, broke our hearts. in a single in their maximum groups, along with world-class avid gamers like David Campese, Nick Farr-Jones and Michael Lynagh, Mark Ella took over. He scored a test, conversion and a penalty and so they gained 16–9. That was once my lone involvement that season, yet what an excellent 5 international locations Kiernan had. I sat and watched in admiration. within the opener in Scotland, eire received 18–5 thank you largely to 2 attempts from Trevor Ringland. Kiernan switched over either and for stable degree slotted over a penalty and drop objective. precisely a month later, he kicked all 5 consequences in a 15–15 draw with the French at Lansdowne street. A fortnight on, Kiernan stored up his impressive consistency. He slotted 3 consequences and switched over either Irish attempts in a gorgeous 21–9 demolition of Wales. That marvelous win in Cardiff set eire up for a winner-takes-all fit at domestic opposed to England. It was once a as a rule tight come upon, yet Mullin and Kiernan emerged as heroes in a staff packed with them. Mullin scored the the most important try to Kiernan rowed in with a powerful drop target and consequences which gave eire a slender 13–10 win. eire had gained the Championship and likewise their moment Triple Crown in 3 years. lacking out at the Triple Crowns was once tough, yet relative to being dropped in Australia all these years prior it represented a fleeting element of unhappiness. I definitely didn’t lose any sleep over it. in addition to, I knew time and pageant for locations have been now opposed to me. Kiernan was once a really proficient participant who had initially performed at the correct wing in our 1982 travel fit opposed to Romania in Bucharest.

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