Gualainn le gualainn: "... We knew we had to come through that"

owedtojoy

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2010
Messages
47,586
You could do worse things than watch the TG4 documentary of the history of Irish rugby on the TG4 player.

Sometimes you get a better flavour of the history of a country from watching a group of men not overtly concerned with politics or economics but "trying to do their duty according to their lights" (James Connolly).

The second part of the documentary covers Irish rugby from about 1950 to 1975, a period tremendous change in the country. In rugby terms, it covers (among other things) our first victory over South Africa, our first victory over Australia, the advent of coaching, the importance of the Lions tours, rugby in Connacht, Jack Kyle, Tom Clifford and Tony O'Reilly.

There is a vignette about an incident in the early 50s when players from the Republic almost refused to play in Belfast. There are excellent interviews with Ronnie Dawson, Alan Duggan and Ray McLoughlin, men who were legends when I first started watching and following rugby. There is the agony of losing 6-5 to New Zealand, a match that would be 6-7 under modern scoring.

But most of all it is about the effort to keep a united Irish rugby team, and the men who dominate that discussion are George Hook and Willie John MCBride. I usually find Hook to be a pompous bore, but he is exellent here. However, McBride is awesome - he looks as if he could take the field tomorrow.

It is him who sets his jaw and says "It was worthwhile. I knew we had to come through it", talking about the stresses of the Troubles on the rugby scene.

Ok, we are in the sh*t right now, but we have survived worse. And, as McBride said, we have to come through this and we will.

http://www.politics.ie/newthread.php?do=newthread&f=21

Part 3 broadcast on the 17th is the key part of watch - but why not enjoy from the beginning?
 
Last edited:


borntorum

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2008
Messages
12,633
It's a good show. The researchers have done a fabulous job; some of the ancient footage from Trinity College a hundred years ago was amazing. And to get so many greats interviewed on camera - Jack Kyle, Willie John McBride, Ray McLoughlin, Ronnie Dawson - as well as more recent players; as the Irish Times review of the program said, it's likely to be seen as the definitive history of Irish rugby for a long time to come
 

owedtojoy

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2010
Messages
47,586
It's a good show. The researchers have done a fabulous job; some of the ancient footage from Trinity College a hundred years ago was amazing. And to get so many greats interviewed on camera - Jack Kyle, Willie John McBride, Ray McLoughlin, Ronnie Dawson - as well as more recent players; as the Irish Times review of the program said, it's likely to be seen as the definitive history of Irish rugby for a long time to come
My main criticism of the show is that we did not hear more about (or from)Mike Gibson, but perhaps he is of more a retiring disposition. Gibson was as dominant a figure on the Irish team as Brian O'Driscoll is today - a brilliant attacker and defender, though probably without the physicality of O'Driscoll.

Gibson was an automatic pick for a Test place on both the 1970 and 74 Lions, and on the famous Barbarians match in Cardiff 1973. In other words, for four years he was first choice on the best rugby team on the planet.

Anoher player of that era I would loved to have heard mentioned was Ken Goodall. Goodall got only 19 caps at No 8 because economic circumstances made him change to Rugby League. He got iinjured soon after, and his career in League was short. But he was a brilliant No 8 - mobile, strong and really, really smart. Here is a try he scored against Wales, my candidate for "the best try ever scored by a forward"..

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rIsKDgOiXc]YouTube - Ken Goodall try against Wales - 1970[/ame]
[video=youtube;1rIsKDgOiXc]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rIsKDgOiXc[/video]
Ken Goodall died in 2006 - RIP
 
Last edited:

borntorum

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2008
Messages
12,633
My main criticism of the show is that we did not hear more about (or from)Mike Gibson, but perhaps he is of more a retiring disposition. Gibson was as dominant a figure on the Irish team as Brian O'Driscoll is today - a brilliant attacker and defender, though probably without the physicality of O'Driscoll.

Gibson was an automatic pick for a Test place on both the 1970 and 74 Lions, and on the famous Barbarians match in Cardiff 1973. In other words, for four years he was first choice on the best rugby team on the planet.
Yes the failure to interview Gibson was notable, and a pity. Also notable was the absence of Tony O'Reilly, and I doubt anyone ever described him as having a retiring disposition ;)
 

owedtojoy

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2010
Messages
47,586
I came across this on youtube. I had completely forgotten that Ireland drew with the All Blacks 10-10 in 1973.

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hERXqqDbSQY]YouTube - Tom Grace scores a try for Ireland against the All Blacks - 1973[/ame]

For those of little faith, in those days before TV match officials, a photographer got a picture of the touchdown - inches inside the dead ball line.

Another sign of changed habits - at that time, it was considered unmanly and unsporting to indulge in undue celebrations after scores. Grace's team mates ignore him and he trots back to take his place as if it was all in a normal day.
 
Last edited:

dónal na geallaí

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 29, 2010
Messages
617
My main criticism of the show is that we did not hear more about (or from)Mike Gibson, but perhaps he is of more a retiring disposition. Gibson was as dominant a figure on the Irish team as Brian O'Driscoll is today - a brilliant attacker and defender, though probably without the physicality of O'Driscoll.

Gibson was an automatic pick for a Test place on both the 1970 and 74 Lions, and on the famous Barbarians match in Cardiff 1973. In other words, for four years he was first choice on the best rugby team on the planet.

Anoher player of that era I would loved to have heard mentioned was Ken Goodall. Goodall got only 19 caps at No 8 because economic circumstances made him change to Rugby League. He got iinjured soon after, and his career in League was short. But he was a brilliant No 8 - mobile, strong and really, really smart. Here is a try he scored against Wales, my candidate for "the best try ever scored by a forward"..

YouTube - Ken Goodall try against Wales - 1970

Ken Goodall died in 2006 - RIP
Amen to all that! Gibson was the best centre threequarter in the world - ever.He started at fly half and finished on the wing.Granted he wasn't as strong as O Driscoll but,unlike the latter, Gibson could kick penalties and drop goals.Also his line kicking and punts were superb;the master.I saw him score twice at Twickenham,so fast and he was no spring chicken then!
 

owedtojoy

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 27, 2010
Messages
47,586
Amen to all that! Gibson was the best centre threequarter in the world - ever.He started at fly half and finished on the wing.Granted he wasn't as strong as O Driscoll but,unlike the latter, Gibson could kick penalties and drop goals.Also his line kicking and punts were superb;the master.I saw him score twice at Twickenham,so fast and he was no spring chicken then!
I was quite annoyed that I found Tom Grace's try and Ken Goodall's try on Youtube, but could find none of Gibson's.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Gibson_(rugby_player)

Unlike McBride, I don't think any books have been written by or about Gibson. I hope he is not in danger of becoming a "forgotten man".

International career
Ireland
He first played for Ireland in 1964, and earned his 69th and final cap in the second and final test win against Australia in Sydney in 1979 at age 36. A versatile player, he represented his country at four different positions. Gibson had a distinguished international career, The Irish Solicitor's all-round talent marked him out as arguably the greatest centre of any era. Gibson's brilliance lay in the perception and timing of his attacking play, the focus and anticipation of his defence, and the rare dedication and commitment with which he applied himself across a 15-year international career in which he appeared in a world record 81 Tests.

Famed as much for his great hands and line-breaking ability as his tactical skills and rapier boot, Gibson scored 112 Test points (9 tries, 16 penalties, 7 conversions and 6 drop goals) for Ireland in a career that also saw him tour five times with the Lions.

Gibson's record Ireland caps haul of 69 was finally overtaken by lock Malcolm O'Kelly against Scotland in February 2005. The mark had lasted for 26 years.

British and Irish Lions
Gibson toured with the British and Irish Lions five times, his best performances probably being on the 1971 tour to New Zealand where he played a key role in the Lions' only series win in that country. Gibson also became the first ever replacement in international rugby, coming on for the injured Barry John during the Lions v South Africa Test in 1968 in Pretoria.

Representative teams
Gibson played in the 1973 Scottish Rugby Union Centenary for a combined England/Ireland team against a combined Scotland/Wales XV.

Honours
He was awarded an MBE for services to the game.

When the International Rugby Hall of Fame was instituted in 1997 Gibson was one of the initial fifteen inductees.

Professional career
Gibson continues to practise as a solicitor in Belfast. Fellow Irish international David Humphreys trained as a solicitor in Gibson's firm.
 

dinzie

Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2009
Messages
37
Does anyone remember singing "Ireland Boys hurrah" in pubs in Cardiff or Edinburgh after matches?
 


New Threads

Most Replies

Top