February 14 down the years
Halfpenny sinks England
Leigh Halfpenny scored a try to down England on this day in 2009
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Wales held off a determined England to notch a 23-15 victory in a pulsating Six Nations clash at the Millennim Stadium in Cardiff. The hosts were outscored two tries to one by a much-improved England but made them pay for another ill disciplined performance that saw both Mike Tindall and Andy Goode yellow carded. Leigh Halfpenny grabbed a second half try for Wales to add to a first half penalty but it was five penalties from the reliable boot of Stephen Jones that saw the defending champions to victory. Meanwhile, France opened their account with a 22-13 victory over Scotland at the Stade de France. The hosts bounced back from their defeat to Ireland thanks to a controversial try from flanker Fulgence Ouedraogo and 17 points from the boot of fly-half Lionel Beauxis. Two penalties from Phil Godman had kept Scotland in touch and a second half try from Thom Evans, converted by Chris Paterson, offered hopes of a late turnaround but in the end they were left to rue countless unforced errors and the decision to award Ouedraogo's try despite what looked like a forward pass.
Tony O'Reilly's shock eleventh-hour recall for the game with England - his first cap for seven years - did little for the Irish cause as they lost 9-3 at Twickenham. O'Reilly's selection was at the expense of Brian O'Driscoll's father, Frank, a bench replacement who never subsequently won an official Irish cap.
HM King George V, on his first visit to Twickenham, saw England beat Ireland 17-12 during a Grand Slam season. Cyril 'Kid' Lowe scored his first two international tries on the way to becoming England's record try-scorer (a distinction he held until Rory Underwood overtook him in the 1990s).
UCD centre Larry McMahon, making his Test debut, scored the late try that gave Ireland a 6-5 win against England at Twickenham - the same as their winning score there two years earlier.
Ireland, led for the first time by hooker and future Lions skipper Karl Mullen, beat England 11-10 at Twickenham on the way to the Grand Slam. Mercurial fly-half Jackie Kyle scored one of three tries, the others going to Bill McKay and William McKee.
The penalty goal all too frequently dominated international matches of the late 50s and early 60s. In Dublin, England gained their only win of a Five Nations season in which they failed to score a try. Bev Risman kicked a penalty to give them a 3-0 defeat of Ireland.
Richmond won their last home match in the Premiership, beating Manchester Sale 29-24 with big names Agustin Pichot and Ben Clarke scoring tries. A month later the club went into administration and was eventually jettisoned from the professional ranks.