February 1 down the years
Paul Thorburn's 'hit and hope' monster
Welsh fullback Paul Thorburn kicked the longest penalty goal in Championship history -70 yards 81/2 inches (64.2m) - to help Wales to a 22-15 win against Scotland in Cardiff. "That kick alone almost led to me having an American Football career," he said. "I had told [captain] David Pickering I would have a go and knew that if I missed it would still leave play in the Scotland half. I probably kicked more important goals, but that was my longest. There was an element of hit and hope about it, but I remember I gave it a real hoof."
Peter Jackson's try in the 13th minute of added time bought England a 9-6 victory at Twickenham against the Fourth Wallabies in a game marred by violent play. The tourists were accused of cheating after a string of late tackles left two England players knocked out and another sidelined. Jim Hetherington had no recollection of kicking the penalty with levelled the score at 6-6, while Jackson was also nursing a sore head after being kicked while lying on the ground. The referee added 15 minutes at the end to allow for the incessant stoppages and 14-man England sealed the game deep into that.
Dan Carter's high-profile sojourn with French Top 14 side Perpignan was brought to a premature end with confirmation of season-ending Achilles tendon injury. He joined the Catalan club at the start of December on a seven-month contract, sustained the injury in the final moments of a 13-13 draw with Stade Francais in Paris and was subsequently sidelined for six months. Carter's lucrative sabbatical, worth a reported €700,000 , lasted just five games.
Jean-Pierre Rives made a rousing Test debut in France's 27-20 win against England at Twickenham. But rather than the press it was RFU officials who laid into the England players with them being described as "over-coached robots" "Toy soldiers" " Zombies" and " Brainwashed athletes". It was a clear dig at coach John Burgess whose training techniques and fanatical attitude did not go down well with everyone. He lost his job at the end of the season.
Wales reaped the rewards of their squad system approach to team preparation by opening their Five Nations campaign with a 17-3 win against Scotland at Murrayfield. Mervyn Davies and JPR Williams made notable debuts for the Welsh.
Billy Bancroft, legendary fullback, mades his Wales debut against Scotland at Cardiff. He went on to make 33 consecutive Test appearances before retiring in 1901.
Herbert Waddell's last-minute dropped goal (then valued at four points) brought Scotland an out-of-the-blue 12-9 win against Wales at Murrayfield. Shortly before the start the crowd were angered when police arrested a Welshman who was trying to climb the posts to attach a leek to the crossbar. The WRU secretary persuaded the police to let the man go.
Travel arrangements were disrupted during one of the coldest British winters on record. As a result only 2000 Welshmen were among the small crowd that saw Wales romp to a 22-8 defeat of Scotland at Murrayfield.