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Saturday, 19 February, 2000, 21:26 GMT
Wood begs for calm

Skipper Keith Wood celebrates at the final whistle


Ireland captain Keith Wood warned against getting carried away by Saturday's 44-22 Six Nations victory over Scotland.

The record victory saw the skipper score one of the five tries as Ireland bounced back in style from their 50-18 defeat by England two weeks ago.

It was also Ireland's first home championship win for four years and their first over the Scots since 1988.


There is a big responsibility on the players to keep our feet on the ground and there is an equally large responsibility on the press to keep everything in perspective
Keith Wood
But Wood's message to the rest of the country was crystal clear.

"I have a fear that everybody will go totally off the charts and start singing our praises by saying everything is rosy in the garden and we're going to win the next World Cup," said Wood..

"It was a good win and we're happy with it but you don't go on to world-beating standards on the back of one win."

Ireland had five debutants in a much-changed line-up and Wood said the new blood made a serious difference.

"They had never lost an international and, after today, they still haven't lost an international. It's a great way to start their careers."

Humphreys: Tactical replacement starred in second half
One of the newcomers, fly-half Ronan O'Gara, was substituted 10 minutes into the second half.

Coach Warren Gatland admitted it was a tactical move that paid handsome dividends.

Experienced replacement David Humphreys scored an opportunistic try and kicked four goals, one of them a 50-metre penalty.

"We felt that Ronan had made a few mistakes," said Gatland. "It was a bit of a Roy of the Rovers type of performance. He did some brilliant things and made some errors.

"He will have learnt a lot from today but, at 20-10 up, we just felt that David Humphreys would settle things down, play the corners a bit better and I thought he played particularly well in the second half."

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See also:
19 Feb 00 |  Rugby Union
Try-scorer Williams celebrates debut
19 Feb 00 |  Rugby Union
England triumph in Paris
19 Feb 00 |  Rugby Union
Welsh record-breakers stroll home
19 Feb 00 |  Rugby Union
Record win for rampant Irish
19 Feb 00 |  Six Nations
Woodward hails gutsy conquest
Links to other Rugby Union stories are at the foot of the page.