April 14 through the years
Spoils shared as France fluff their kick
Jean-Pierre Romeu failed to convert an injury-time French try that left Ireland 6-4 winners in Dublin. "My technique just went to bits," he said. "I feel awful at letting France down so badly. I've kicked far more difficult goals." With each of the Five Nations having won their two home matches and lost their away clashes, the International Championship ended in a unique quintuple tie. If the teams had been split on points difference then Wales would have claimed the title ahead of France, Ireland, Scotland and then England.
The first women's Rugby World Cup final was played in Cardiff, with the United States beating England 19-6. Twelve countries were divided into four groups of three for the unofficial tournament - the International Rugby Board did not endorse the women's Rugby World Cup until the 1998 event. The United States beat the Netherlands (7-0) and the USSR (46-0) in the pool stages while England accounted for Spain (12-0) and Italy (25-9). In the semi-finals the USA beat New Zealand 7-0 - the Black Ferns did not lose another game for ten years - and England beat France 13-0.
France claim the Five Nations crown for the fourth year running. Claude Lacaze becomes the first French fullback to score a Championship try, contributing to France's 11-0 win in Paris against Ireland in the last Five Nations international of the season. The story was made, however, by Ireland's 21-year-old second row Bill McBride who it turned out had played 71 minutes with a broken leg, cracking the fibula in his right leg in a tumble after a lineout. "Thank goodness the X-ray shows only a hairline fracture," he said afterwards. "My skipper Bill Mulcahy, who is a, doctor, says it's only a three, to four week job."
Denis Thatcher, a noted London referee in the 1950s and husband of Margaret Thatcher, ran the line for England as they 14-9 against France in Paris. "England played like a bunch of clodhoppers," noted the Daily Express, adding the defeat came because the side had peaked "mentally and physically".
Peter Jackson, star England wing between 1956 and 1963, announced his retirement after turning out in a mid-week club match for Coventry against Nuneaton. He was capped 20 times by his country between 1956 and 1963 - scoring eight tries. Following his retirement he became involved in the administrative aspect of the game and subsequently served as fixture secretary, club secretary and finally president of Coventry.
The St Helen's ground-staff had to fork the pitch to drain off large stretches of water before the Swansea-Barbarians game could start. When the match eventually got under way 15 minutes late, the home side were swamped 18-0. Welsh centre Malcolm Thomas scored the try of the game.
Italy achieve their then best away result, going down by the narrow margin of 14-12 to Michel Crauste's French team in Grenoble.
The RAF, making a short Continental tour, were held to a 3-3 draw by a Spanish XV in Madrid.