Great Wallaby Tries: 84 Grand Slam v Ireland - Green and Gold Rugby

Great Wallaby Tries: 84 Grand Slam v Ireland

Great Wallaby Tries: 84 Grand Slam v Ireland

As with this tour, the second test on the 1984 Grand Slam tour was against Ireland, in Dublin.  The Irish would be different opponents from the Poms with a greater battle at the breakdown expected. Accordingly Alan Jones opted to play Chris Roche along side Simon Poidevin in the backrow, to have dual open-sides.  It was another try-less first half as Australia went to the break 3-0 up thanks to a Michael Lynagh drop goal.

In the second half Mark Ella also dropped a goal to give the Wallabies a six point lead.  Three quick penalties to Ireland soon had them ahead 9-6 and the Wallabies looking shakey. Another Ella droppy (for someone reknowned for his running game, he kicked a few) tied the score up. And it is here that we pick up play with about five minutes left on the match clock and at 5:54 on the youtube video.


Ireland have a lineout from which the skylab, Steve Cutler [5], is able to secure tap ball for Nick Farr-Jones [9].  It is tough ball and Farr-Jones clears it quickly to Ella [10] high and at his head.  Ella handles it sublimely and immediately moves forward towards the advantage line.

If you can, pause the video at around 6:00 even.  It is worth noting the Wallaby backline alignment here. They are close, all running off each others’ shoulders – Ella, Lynagh [12], Slack [13] and Burke[14]. Beautiful!

With the Irish backrow slow to move forward from the lineout Ella is able to get to the advantage line surprisingly easily. As his opposite number Paul Dean [10] moves forward Ella takes the ball to him before passing simply to Lynagh, who still has Slack on his shoulder and then Burke outside him. Watch for the way Ella evades the tackle, even after he’s passed the ball, to stay alive in the play.

Lynagh soon loses Slack in support as the Australian captain is tackled without the ball. So Lynagh moves towards the fullback Hugo McNeill [15] and passes to Burke who has maintained his alignment.  Further outside is David Campese [11], now in screen, whilst Ella continues to follow inside.

Burke breaks through the tackle of Trevor Ringland [14] and has Michael Kiernan [11], Michael Bradley [9] and Brendan Mullin [13] all covering across as Campo stays wide and Ella trails behind.

Burke then winds up for a big pass as he is tackled, but overcooks it.  The ball is high and slow to Campo who has to check his run and jump to take it.  Natural instincts come in and Campo weaves his magic with a beautiful in and away, turning the Irish 11, Kiernan, around before passing outside for the supporting …… Ella!

Match Details:

Ireland v Australia
Lansdowne Road, Dublin. 10th November, 1984

Australia: Roger Gould, Matthew Burke, Andrew Slack [c], Michael Lynagh, David Campese, Mark Ella, Nick Farr-Jones, Steve Tuynman, Simon Poidevin, Chris Roche, Steve Cutler, Stephen Williams, Enrique Rodrigez, Tom Lawton, Andy Mcintyre

Ireland: Hugo McNeill, Trevor Ringland, Brendan Mullin, Moss Finn, Michael Kiernan, Paul Dean, Michael Bradley, Ronan Kearney, W.J. Sexton, Phil Matthews, Donal Lenihan, Willie Anderson, Phil Orr, Ciaran Fitzgerald [c], J.J. Mccoy.

Australia 16 (Mark Ella try, 2 dgs; Michael Lynagh pg, dg) defeated Ireland 9 (Michael Kiernan 3 pg)


  • mark_s

    Great work Noddy – keep it up

  • Scarfman

    Mate, I’m showing THAT at my next BBQ. Lovely stuff from NFJ, Ella, and jetshoes Campo in particular.

  • CanadianRugby

    As someone who started watching rugby relatively recently, I never saw Campese play, but have read enough about how great he was. The clip finally SHOWED me how great he was. Unbelievable. Now wonder he is such an arrogant pr!ck. I would be a jerk too if I could run like he did.

    • I don’t think of Campo as arrogant, he actually was as good as he claims.

      • CanadianRugby

        yah, fair enough, I meant all the mouthing off in the media and telling everyone how awful the game is now.

        No doubt he was that good.

  • Searsy

    I love that try, it is one of my all time favourites. What I have also loved about these Grandslam videos is the old school scrum engage. Have a look from 0:38 at how they bash in from a good 2 feet apart. None of this crouch, pause, touch, pause….pause….pause, engage rubbish which i think is more likely to collapse scrums.

  • Stomper

    much prefer the Gold jerseys rather than the mustard version dished up these days!

    • Searsy

      Keep an eye out for next year. Kooga have got the contract for the new Wallabies jersey and all reports are that it will be the vintage bright gold colour..

  • mark_s

    Watching it again, its amazing that our backline had that formation on a defensive lineout and looked to be standing deep, the irish backline seemed far more spread out.

  • Bobas

    how good was that play off the back of the scrum with the ella flick pass to lygnah. They didn’t score, but should have if they didn’t drop it.

    and what’s with the drop goals? This is the first game i’ve seen where AUS has sunk more than one.

  • As you point out Nods – great straight running to set that try up and create all that space out wide. None of this lateral bullshit.

    Beautiful stuff

  • Patrick

    So much of what they do is by today’s standards so ineffective. Watch the rucks!

    The glaring exception is the passing – they really do seem to have been good passers.

    The only recent example that springs to mind is Cedric Heyman’s try against the ABs earlier this year (6th minute of the second half in match two) where, much like these Wallabies, they run it right at the defenders’ faces before flicking it flat and in front of the next guy

  • Davey

    Campo was a freak.


The original prop in a prop's body, but thankfully I have the rugby mind of a prop as well.

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