Unlucky number seven for Ireland?
September 6, 2011
Keith Wood notched four tries during Ireland's victory over the US in the 1999 World Cup © Getty Images
Sunday's meeting between Ireland and the United States of American will be the seventh time the two nations have met in Test rugby - and the second in World Cup competition.
Their inaugural encounter came at the old Lansdowne Road in Dublin in 1994, with the home side recording a hard-earned 26-15 victory after a game in which the sides shared four tries between them.
The Eagles proved just as competitive in Atalanta two years later but still came out on the wrong end of a 25-18 scoreline in spite of the fact that they had outscored their opponents from the Emerald Isle by two tries to one.
Since then, though, Ireland have dealt with the Americans with the minimum of fuss. Legendary Irish hooker Keith Wood helped himself to a staggering four tries during a resounding 53-8 victory in the pool stages of the 1999 World Cup and worse was to follow for the Yanks the following year in Manchester as they were routed 83-3, Mike Mullins notching a hat-trick for the boys in green and Geordan Murphy marking his international debut with a brace.
The latter dotted twice more during another try-fest when the pair met again four years later as Ireland triumphed 55-6 at Lansdowne Road, but Ireland were made to work much harder for victory in their most recent contretemps, Declan Kidney's experimental line-up battling their way to a 27-10 win in Santa Clara two years ago.
Ireland v United States
All-time record: Played: 6, Ireland won 6, USA won 0.
Biggest winning margin: Ire: 80, 83-3 at Manchester, 2000; USA: N/A.
Highest score: Ire: 83 (83-3) at Manchester, 2000; USA: 18 (18-25) at LIFE Clinic, 1996.
Most tries: Ire: 13 (83-3) at Manchester, 2000; USA: 2 (18-25) at LIFE Clinic, 1996; (15-26) at Lansdowne Road, 1994.
Longest winning sequence: Ire: 6 (1994-present day); USA: N/A.
Most points (individual): Ire: 41 David Humphreys; USA: 8 Matt Alexander, Kevin Dalzell.
Most tries (individual): Ire: 4 Keith Wood, Geordan Murphy; USA: 1 Seven players on one try.
Most points in a Test: Ire: Keith Wood at Lansdowne Road, 1999; David Humphreys at Lansdowne Road 2004; USA: 8 Matt Alexander at LIFE Clinic, 1996; Kevin Dalzell at Lansdowne Road, 1999.
Previous Rugby World Cup meetings: One (Ireland 53-8 USA, Lansdowne Road, 1999)
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