March 3 down the years
Banned for life and England at their best
Bill Beaumont is beaten at the line out by Alain Guilbert ... but his England side had the last laugh in 1979 © PA Photos

A pitch invasion by jubilant England supporters after a 7-6 victory over France described by captain Billy Beaumont as "our best win in years". Schoolmaster Neil Bennett was the hero with all the points - a first-half penalty and a second-half try - and he also struck the post with another kick. In contrast, Aguirre missed four of his five attempts at goal. It was a gripping game in which England's outstanding defence triumphed over France's flamboyant attack.

Former Scotland international Tremayne Rodd was banned for life by the Scottish RFU. In 1966, after retiring from playing, he covered the 1966 British Lions tour of New Zealand as a journalist, and in late 1969 he joined Richmond, in west London, with the aim of "getting fit". He was soon drafted into the 1st XV and the SRFU immediately raised objections, claiming he was a professional, ending his brief comeback.

Fifteen members of Bury St Edmunds RFC died when the Turkish Airways DC10 carrying them back from watching England play France in Paris crashed shortly after take-off, killing all 344 people on board. It was, at the time, the world's worst aviation accident. The members were not due to be on the flight but a strike by British Airways staff meant fans had to find any available spaces on flights home. The England team had tried to book seats on the aircraft but were turned away as all tickets had been sold.

England completed what is now recognised as the first Triple Crown season courtesy of their victory by two tries to one in the decider against Scotland in Edinburgh. England used six backs against Scotland's five, but the match was marred by controversy when Wilf Bolton's winning try was greeted with a hostile response by the home crowd. The president of the SRU was moved to apologise to his England counterparts at the post-match dinner.

It was announced that the Bledisloe Cup would be taken on tour later in the year as New Zealand and Australia would contest the famous trophy in Hong Kong following the end of the Tri-Nations, the first time that a Test between the countries had been played on neutral ground outside of a Rugby World Cup. New Zealand triumphed 19-14 before embarking on a successful Grand Slam tour.

Scotland swept to their first Triple Crown for 46 years on their way to a Grand Slam. Roy Laidlaw scored two tries before leaving the field with concussion at half-time as Scotland overcome Ireland 32-9 in Dublin. France set up the decider with a rousing 32-18 win over England in Paris.

A woefully one-sided Calcutta Cup match at Twickenham as England crushed Scotland 43-3 with three tries in each half. It was England's highest number of points against Scotland and also their biggest winning margin. Iain Balshaw and Lawerence Dallaglio scored two tries apiece while Will Greenwood and Richard Hill completed the rout. It meant in three matches England had scored 22 tries.

Ireland drew 11-11 with Scotland at Murrayfield - their second draw on the trot - thanks to an opportunist try from Colin Patterson seven minutes from time. Tony Ward's conversion hit an upright.

Around 5000 people watched Scotland and England draw 0-0 at Hamilton Crescent in Glasgow. In an era when only a goal counted as a score, it was the first scoreless international match.

On the same day across the city the Scottish Rugby Union was formed at a meeting held after the Scotland-England match.


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