March 2 down the years
Golfing on the M4
Dean Richards ploughs towards the Irish line on the way to a victory in Dublin in 1991 © Getty Images

Tries by Rory Underwood and Mike Teague brought home England's first Triple Crown for 11 years. Will Carling's team won 16-7 against Ireland in Dublin to set up a winner-take-all Grand Slam showdown with France a fortnight later. It was a close thing. Ireland took the lead in the 24th minute and held onto it until nine minutes from the end. Simon Hodgkinson's eight points took him past Dusty Hare's record of 44 in a Five Nations campaign. England scrum-half Richard Hill was unimpressed with the performance. "Unless we improve, the French will murder us," he said. "A lot of players were panicking and we had to quieten down some of the forwards. Some of them were just piling in without thinking." He need not have worried; England beat France 21-19.

Wales back-row Andy Powell was banned from driving for 15 months after pleading guilty to taking a golf buggy while unfit through drink. Powell was arrested at a motorway service station at junction 33 of the M4 hours after Wales' thrilling Six Nations victory over Scotland at the Millennium Stadium on February 13. He was subsequently dropped from the squad for the rest of the tournament and pleaded guilty at Cardiff Magistrates' Court where was also ordered to pay a £1000 fine and £100 costs. "I realise that many young sportsmen and women look up to international rugby players and that some of them may be amused by my antics with a golf buggy," said the Cardiff Blues star. "However, they should note my regret and be aware that I do not excuse or condone drink driving in any form."

The British unions voted to send France into the international wilderness. There had been unease for some time over allegations players were paid and there was also concern at what was perceived as the violent nature of their play. They were eventually readmitted to the fold in 1939 but war intervened before they could resume and they did not play in the Five Nations again until 1946.

England ran in four tries - their most in six seasons- as Ireland were beaten 25-20 at Twickenham to revive fleeting hopes they might take a share of the championship despite a 33-6 thrashing at Murrayfield a fortnight earlier. It was a false dawn as they were subsequently beaten 29-10 in Paris.

Jean-Pierre Romeu became only the third player in Championship history to score with a full house of actions - try, conversion, penalty and drop - helping France to a 12-12 draw against England in Paris. The match was described as "fast and furious and abounding in mistakes", and from 12-3 down ten minutes into the second half, England fought back through the boot of Alan Old and a David Duckham try.

France sneaked a see-saw match against Ireland in Paris 19-18 with Ollie Campbell keeping the Irish in the hunt with 14 points. They led 9-3 at half-time before two tries from Jean F r a n c o is Gourdon in 20 minutes meant they trailled 19-9 on the hour. An Irish revival took them to within a point leading to a tense last 13 minutes.

Wales and France met for the first time at Test level on a Monday afternoon at Cardiff and the home side cruised to a 36-4 victory. Winger Reggie Gibbs scored four tries for the home side while skipper Teddy Morgan and centre Billy Trew both scored braces.

On the same day, the RFU issued its report into professionalism, deciding that while it no longer existed in the game, there were instances where expenses paid had been "too lavish". But the detailed findings were kept under wraps as "nothing would be served by making them public".

Ireland's first Test victory on Welsh soil. They beat the home side by two tries to nil on the St Helen's Ground, Swansea. The score was tied 0-0 in terms of goals scored at full time, with tries therefore deciding the game.


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