Ireland travelled to England to face a then homeless Wales side. Big heavy handbags ensued.
Keith Duggan writing in the Irish Times said:
AH, the incomparable beauty of a Keith Wood smile. We have seen him in all his guises over the past two weeks, from the bleak figure in the blue mezzotint standing ruined in Lansdowne Road to his grinning, pale, headed colossus, gamley stoking the masses at the end of a sporting hour, which will be undoubtedly be rememberd as Wembley’s finest by everyone except, possibly, Geoff Hurst.
At the Cardiff Arms Park, Ireland put in an oddly schizophrenic performance but prevailed over Wales.
Edmund Van Esbeck writing (through rose tinted spectacles) in the Irish Times said:
A season that started with such bright promise and hope, but faltered in the midway period has ended in a triumph and triumph this was. Never has the appellation “the fighting Irish” been more appropriately applied to an Ireland rugby team..
..the heart of Irish rugby still beats with strong rhythm. It was a great day for the fighting Irish last Saturday.
It was the year the Hurricane blew away a young Stephen Hendry to win the Irish Masters Snooker Championship and Samuel Beckett passed away.
It was also the year a resurgent Ireland team traveled to the Cardiff Arms Park determined to banish the waning Welsh to a third successive defeat.
Noel Mannion’s block, clutch and gut-bursting carry paved the way.
Eileen Battersby wrote in the following Monday’s Irish Times:
Noel Mannion, grabbed the ball inside his own half and with the grace of a stampeding dray horse, showed the Welsh backs – and the rest of Wales – exactly how serious their rugby problems are when he scored 70 yards later.
“What have things come to when they can’t catch a number eight?”, asked the shaken Welshman in the sheepskin coat.
“So I moved to the land of opportunity (Old) South Wales [UK]a couple of years ago and although I miss the faces on poles I thought elections over.here felt a little more civilised as a result.
That was until I saw this on the ballot paper. An ultra right party (splitters from the BNP) are using [murdered soldier] Lee Rigby’s name to garner votes. Thought I’d got away from that sort of politicisation of murder when I left Belfast…”
An extremley fast, fresh faced Irish rugby side – containing Mick “Kick” Kiernan, Brendan Mullen, Trevor Ringland and Keith Crossan – travelled to Cardiff Arms Park with murmurings of another ‘Tripler’ on the cards. Wales, outpaced, outthought and outskilled rolled over.
Edmund Van Esbeck of the Irish Times said:
Prior to the match on Saturday, there was a very significant gesture by the Ireland side – As they stood for the Welsh anthem, all the players linked arms as a mark of their solidarity. Never was that characteristic better exemplified than this truly remarkable match.