SLIDESHOW: On this day in 2002: Ireland thump Wales on Paul O'Connell's debut

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent


Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent


IRELAND steamrollered their way to a record win 54-10 over Wales at a delighted Lansdowne Road to give new chief Eddie O'Sullivan a fine start to his reign on this day, February 3, 2002.

Munster prop Peter Clohessy led Ireland onto the field on the day of his 50th cap.

Ireland bagged six tries in all including one from debutant Paul O'Connell, who was later forced to retire from the game due to an injury.

The match was virtually over as a contest at half time after tries from Geordan Murphy and O’Connell as well as a 14-point haul from the boot of David Humphries left Wales trailing 24-3 at the break.

The Irish onslaught continued in the second half with tries from Murphy, Hickey and substitutes Keith Gleeson and Ronan O’Gara. Humphries, who kicked a total of 22 points, was named man of the match.

Ireland: Tries: G Murphy (2), P O'Connell, D Hickie, K Gleeson, R O'Gara. Con: D Humphreys (2), R O'Gara. Pens: D Humphreys (6). Wales: Try: S Jones. Con: S Jones. Pen: S Jones.

IRELAND: G Dempsey; G Murphy, B O'Driscoll, K Maggs, D Hickie; D Humphreys, P Stringer; P Clohessy, F Sheahan, J Hayes, M Galwey (capt), P O'Connell, S Easterby, D Wallace, A Foley.
Replacements: P Wallace, S Byrne, G Longwell, K Gleeson, G Easterby, R Henderson, R O'Gara.

WALES: K Morgan; D James, J Robinson, I Harris, C Morgan; S Jones, R Howley; S John, R McBryde, C Anthony, C Quinnell, C Wyatt, N Budgett, M Williams, S Quinnell (capt). Replacements: B Williams, D Jones, I Gough, B Sinkinson, D Peel, A Marinos, R Williams.

Referee: Pablo de Luca (Argentina)