February 28 down the years
Change of referee inspires Wales comeback
JPR Williams scores during Wales' remarkable comeback at Twickenham in 1970 © PA Photos

Inspired by replacement Chico Hopkins who had come on for Gareth Edwards, Wales overturned a 13-3 half-time deficit to beat England 17-13 at Twickenham. French referee Robert Calmet had to be replaced at the interval after managing to break his leg when caught up in a ruck. English touch judge Johnny Johnson, a leading referee, took charge for Wales' revival.

Jeff Butterfield scored a try on his debut for England in the 11-0 victory over France at Twickenham. But despite the score the game was poor and thousands started leaving well before the end. "They had gone to find something little more interesting and sustaining, like a cup of tepid tea and a stile bun," reported the Daily Express "As internationals go this Twickenham offering must take an all-time low entertainment rating."

Brian O'Driscoll scored a try and a drop goal as Ireland narrowly edged England out at Croke Park with a 14-13 win. Despite being dominant, Ireland almost rued missed kicks by Ronan O'Gara until O'Driscoll - immediately after receiving treatment - crashed over from close range. Delon Armitage hit back for Martin Johnson's men who defended brilliantly but were left to rue indiscipline that saw two players sinbinned.

Scotland's 19-0 win over Ireland in front of 22,000 spectators at Inverleith set them up with a Grand Slam opportunity (one they were to lose at Twickenham). While the packs cancelled each other out, Scotland dominated in the backs, running in five tries

A weekend best forgotten in France. After a wretched crossing of the channel in raging gales, snow and mud greeted them in Cardiff where they were thumped 35-3 by Wales who ran in seven tries against a team who had not conceded one in their previous two Five Nations games.

Ireland beat Scotland 6-0 to claim the International Championship for the first time in 13 years. Tries from legendary out-half, Jack Kyle and winger Barney Mullan saw off the Scottish challenge as Ireland set themselves for the historic first Grand Slam which came with victory over Wales in their final game.

A sad day as former England captain Tony Neary was jailed for five years for stealing almost £300,000 from the family of a close friend. His crime came about when he incurred substantial losses as the property market collapsed. Summing up, the judge said: "These offences go to show how far you have fallen." Neary's QC added: "Not so long ago he stood on top of the world. Now he is divorced, bankrupt and living on social security." While in low-risk Ford Open Prison, Neary coached the Lags XV.

The RFU staged a home international outside London for the first time. The first Calcutta Cup took place at Whalley Range, Manchester. England defeated Scotland on a scoreline of two goals to one goal after Henry Taylor scored two tries and George Burton, Thomas Fry and Temple Gurdon scored a try a piece and captain Lennard Stokes kicked two conversions. William Brown scored the Scots' only try with Malcolm Cross converting.

Severe frost compelled the Barbarians to play the annual Mobbs Memorial Match at Richmond, the first time the fixture had been played outside the East Midlands. The Baa-Baas won a thrilling game of nine tries, 23-21.

© Scrum.com

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