“Campo had scored a couple of tries in the first half and we felt we had the measure of Ireland,” said Lynagh. “Mistake. Gordon Hamilton’s try turned the match on its head, a sympathetic bounce of the ball, a slip by Campo and away he went. Ireland were in front and Lansdowne Road was bouncing.
“I’d taken over the captaincy as Nick (Farr-Jones) had gone off injured. I knew I had to come up with something precise and factual. I was determined not to resort to the cliche of, ‘don’t panic, don’t worry’. There were no clocks at the ground so I asked referee Jim Fleming how long there was to go. Four minutes, came the reply. So, that’s what I said to the boys. I stuck to the facts. ‘Four minutes, still time, we’ll kick long from the restart, press, they’ll kick out and we’ll strike from the lineout’. In fact, Nick told me only the other week that he’d have kicked short to contest the ball if he had still be on the field and captain. So, there we are – what might have been.”
What was is that Ireland scrum-half Rob Saunders sliced his clearance, Australia had a lineout around the 22-metre line, David Campese took it up and was on hand later in the sequence but was tackled. Lynagh’s role had been to track play. He swooped and dived over the line.
“There was a deathly silence and I wondered what had happened, maybe that play had been called back and I hadn’t scored,” said Lynagh.