February 8 down the years
The concussed winner
Jackie Kyle is chaired off after his record 45th appearance © PA Photos

Amazing as it may seem in these days of increasing concern over concussion, England fullback Jim Hetherington was seen to clutch his head and lurch across the pitch. It emerged he was blacking out after being poleaxed shortly after halftime but he was persuaded to play on as England clung on for a 6-0 win over Ireland. Hetherington had also been concussed a fortnight earlier against Australia, on that occasion admitting he had no recollection of much of the game. The Twickenham crowd observed a minute's silence as tribute to the Manchester United players and officials who died in the Munich air disaster two days earlier. At the end of the match Ireland skipper Jackie Kyle was chaired off after his record 45th appearance.

Cornwall announced they would be fencing their ground at Redruth with barbed wire for the following month's County Championship final against Lancashire to try to avoid crowd trouble which marred their semi-final win. On that day every score resulted in spectators running onto the pitch and at one point the referee threatened to abandon the game. All 14,000 tickets were sold within hours and more than double that number were applied for.

Chris Laidlaw gave a sparkling display on his Test debut for New Zealand in their fifth and final Test on their tour. They saw off France on a 12-3 scoreline in Paris to retain their unbeaten run at international level. Laidlaw dropped a goal, while winger Ralph Caulton and prop Ken Gray scored tries.

With servicemen from across the Commonwealth throughout the south of England following the Armistice, the RFU announced a series of matches between sides from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, the RAF and England (colourfully named as "the Mother Country") with the overall winners earning the right to play the French Army (presumably not the whole thing).

On a day for dream debuts, Mike Gibson made a his fairytale bow at fly-half, spearheading Ireland's 18-5 win over England at Twickenham. All the points were scored from tries and conversions in Ireland's first win at the ground since 1948. With Gibson running the show at ten, inside-centre Michael Flynn crossed for two tries, winger Patrick Casey and flanker Noel Murphy got one each.

Leicester's famous Welford Road ground staged its first international match. A crowd of 20,000 attended England's 6-3 win over Ireland. No Tigers' players took part in the game as tries from winger Sydney Cooper and No.8 Samuel Williams cancelled out Fred Gardiner's score for Ireland.

A drop goal from out-half Paul Murray saw Ireland squeeze past England with a 4-3 win at Lansdowne Road. This was despite the other score in the game coming from a Tony Novis try, but with drop-goals counting for four points and tries for three, Ireland became the third team to win a Five Nations match of the season with a drop-goal.

In the first Five Nations Championship season after World War Two, Ireland hammered England 22-0 in Dublin. The win was Ireland's biggest ever over any side and it came thanks to doubles from wingers Bernard Mullan and Bertie O'Hanlon and a fifth try from wing forward Bill McKay, while Mullan kicked two conversions and a penalty.

© Scrum.com

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