March 14 down the years
Irish bring Welsh legends crashing to earth
Some of the thousands locked out of the match ... hundreds tried to storm their way into the ground, Wales v Ireland, Cardiff, March 14, 1936
Some of the thousands locked out of the match between Wales and Ireland in 1936 ... hundreds tried to storm their way into the ground ©

Ireland inflicted on a Welsh team of all the talents a 14-0 defeat in Dublin, one of the most unexpected results in Five Nations history. Wales, who had only been deprived of a Grand Slam the year before by a draw in Paris, had started the campaign with defeats of Scotland and England, but in front of a passionate crowd they never got going. The usually infallible Barry John and Gareth Edwards had poor days and at the final whistle Ireland's captain Tom Kiernan was carried shoulder high from the field.

Ireland defeated Scotland 22-15 at Murrayfield to set up a Grand Slam decider against Wales. A stunning effort from replacement Jamie Heaslip at the start of the second-half allowed Ireland to claw back a half-time deficit for the first time in nine years, clinching the penultimate victory in their famous clean sweep. Meanwhile, Warren Gatland's selection tinkering almost cost Wales as they scraped past Italy in Rome. Tries from winger Shane Williams and replacement centre Tom Shanklin and 10 points from the boot of fly-half James Hook were just enough on what was a very uncomfortable day for the defending champions.

The day of the "Terrible Eight" - the nickname given to the Welsh pack led by the Rev Alban Davies - who enjoyed a vigorous match in the mud with their Irish counterparts in Belfast. Wales began by playing a passing game "which they wisely gave up" according to the Times and a forward battle ensued. The Welsh forwards came out on top in an 11-3 win.

Cardiff's fire brigade turned their hoses on to restrain a then record crowd estimated at around 70,000 at the Arms Park with the gates shut two-and-a-half hours before kick-off. Spectators packed the touchlines to see Ireland beaten 3-0 through a Viv Jenkins first-half penalty that secured Wales the Championship title.

The birth of Jeremy Paul who made 72 appearances as hooker for Australia between 1998 and 2006, including in the victorious 1999 World Cup final and the defeat in 2003. He won the John Eales Medal in 2005 but ruptured a tendon playing against South Africa in 2006.

Ireland nearly scored the fastest try in Test history. Noel Henderson switched the direction of the kick-off to send Niall Brophy haring for the corner. Only a desperate goal-line tackle by Welsh full-back, Terry Davies, forced him to step into touch with 20 seconds on the clock, and so close was it that many thought Brophy had grounded the ball. Wales went on to win 8-6 in filthy conditions with their winning try coming five minutes from time.

Warwickshire were crowned England's County Champions for the sixth time in seven seasons, beating Lancashire 8-6 at Coventry. Their captain, Peter Jackson, scored a try converted by George Cole. The other score for the winners was a pushover try that demonstrated their power and forward supremacy.

After waiting 25 years, Yorkshire reclaimed the County Championship title with an 11-3 win in ideal conditions against East Midlands at Bradford.

On their way to the Premiership Championship title Newcastle were tripped up for the first time. In their 13th league match of the season they fell 30-17 to Richmond.


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