May 6 down the years
'Old farts' enjoy a brief, vindictive, win
Neath's Kevin Phillips shows his excitement as he celebrates with the trophy, Llanelli v Neath, Cardiff, May 6, 1989
Kevin Phillips celebrates Neath's win on this day in 1989 © Getty Images

The day the "old farts" hit back as Will Carling was sacked as England captain after six-and-a-half years for describing the RFU bosses in that way on a TV interview. "It is considered inappropriate for him to continue," spluttered an RFU blazer less than three weeks before the World Cup. But they had reckoned with the backlash from players and a public who largely agreed with Carling and days later he was reinstated. His comments came as the sport prepared to go professional and he noted that there were still a lot of those running the game who felt "players should not make anything out of it".

In an exciting Welsh Rugby Union Cup final in Cardiff, 58,000 spectators saw the lead change six times before Neath lifted the Cup with a 14-13 win against Llanelli. There was controversy, too, as Neath No.8 Mark Jones was sent to the sin-bin (an experiment being given an outing by the WRU) after being seen stamping on Llanelli prop Laurence Delaney, most pundits believing it was a straight sending-off offence. It capped a remarkable season in which Neath scored a world record 1,971 points and 345 tries

A key day in Italy's bid to join the Five Nations came in Treviso as they beat Ireland 22-12, their first success over any of the big eight countries. Diego Dominguez kicked 17 points while Paolo Vaccari scored the only try. To show it was not fluke, Italy won both the next meetings with Ireland as well.

Kieran Crowley's kicking boots brought the NZ Cavaliers a 26-15 win against Western Province in Newlands. The fullback kicked two penalties and converts two of the tourists' four tries. The Cavaliers was the name given to the unofficial New Zealand team which toured South Africa at a time when national teams were effectively banned from playing the Springboks because of the republic's apartheid policies. The team included 28 of the 30 players who had been selected for the All Blacks tour scheduled for the year before but cancelled. The Cavaliers were coached by Colin Meads and captained by Andy Dalton and won just one of the four matches against South Africa, although they won seven of their eight other games on the tour.

Pau and Quillan - both first-time finalists - contested the French Championship at Toulouse. Pau ran out 6-4 winners - two tries to a dropped goal.

Harlequins opened their tour of East Africa with a 44-13 win against the Uganadan national side in Kampala. The club went on to win all six games over a 15-day period - the longest overseas tour undertaken by a British club up to that time.

Neath celebrated their centenary by winning the inaugural WRU Cup defeating Llanelli 15-9 in the final in front of 12,000 spectators.


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