Ireland head towards Argentina crunch game
October 19, 2003
Ireland winger Denis Hickie slides in for his side's second try
© Getty Images
Ireland completed their expected 64-7 demolition job of African minnows Namibia at Aussie Stadium to set up a Pool A showdown with Argentina next weekend. Coach Eddie O'Sullivan saw his side shrug off torrential rain to register a 10-try win and record their biggest victory in World Cup Finals combat.
Back-row duo Alan Quinlan and Eric Miller will not have done themselves any harm with a couple of touchdowns and popular fly-half Ronan O'Gara added seven conversions to an excellent open-field kicking game.
Wing twins Denis Hickie and Shane Horgan both crossed, as did full-back Girvan Dempsey and his replacement John Kelly. There was even a first international try for prop Marcus Horan.
But as impressive as the win was, it may yet come at a cost if lock Paul O'Connell finds himself cited for trampling on opposite number Archie Graham as the Ireland pack rumbled towards their opponents' line in the middle of the second half.
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September