This week in history

Date published: March 20 2015

1022.6666666666666x767__origin__0x0_Twickenham_first_streaker

We turn back the clock to have a look at some of the famous rugby happenings from this week in history. 

March 16

1957: The term "Grand Slam" is used for the first time in rugby in an article by Times journalist Uel Titley in the build-up to England's 16-3 win over Scotland in London.

1974: Michael O'Brien is the subject of what will become an iconic rugby photo as Twickenham's first streaker. The following day, the Australian trainee accountant is fined the exact sum he had won in the bet that prompted the escape. England happened to beat Wales 16-12.

1991: Current France coach Philippe Saint-André scores one of the all-time great tries, but it's not enough to prevent England from winning 21-19 and claiming the Grand Slam in a thriller at Twickenham.


March 17

1979: Wales hammer England 27-3 in Cardiff to win the Triple Crown for the fourth consecutive year. They claim the Five Nations title in the process.

1984 & 1990: St. Patrick's Day has happy memories for Scotland. In 1984, they beat France 21-12 at Murrayfield to claim only their second Grand Slam. They repeat the feat six years later when they overcome hot favourites England 13-7. They haven't won a Grand Slam since.

2001: Wales legend Neil Jenkins becomes the first player in history to score more than 1000 points in international rugby as he finished with a personal haul of 28 in his team's 43-35 Six Nations victory over France in Paris.

2012: There is a somber mood in Wales following the passing of Mervyn "Merv the Swerve" Davies the day before. But Warren Gatland's national team raises spirits in Cardiff as they secure their third Grand Slam in eight years, beating France 16-9.


March 18

1911: Scotland become the first Home Union to suffer a Five Nations whitewash as they slump to a 13-8 defeat in their first ever game at Twickenham.

1978: Legendary scrum-half Gareth Edwards ends his 53-Test career in style, slotting a drop-goal to help Wales beat France 16-7 and secure their second Grand Slam in three years.


March 19

1938: The first Five Nations match to be televised live sees Scotland triumph 21-16 to also claim the Triple Crown at Twickenham.

1988: Led by a group from Benedictine public school Douai, the crowd at Twickenham rallies behind their team by singing "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" for the first time as winger Chris Oti scores a hat-trick in the space of ten second-half minutes. The home side go on to beat Ireland 35-3 in the final match of the tournament.

1994: The Five Nations title is decided on points difference for the first time. England beat Wales 15-8 at Twickenham but fall short of the 16-point winning margin needed to deny the Welsh the title. The game also marks the 100th Test of the Championship's history.

2000: Brian O'Driscoll announces his extraordinary talent to the world as – aged just 21 – he scores a hat-trick in Paris, ending Ireland's 15-match losing streak against les Bleus. The visitors win 27-25.

2005: Wales beat Ireland in Cardiff for the first time since 1983 and at the same time end a 27-year Grand Slam drought, winning 32-20 at the Millennium Stadium.

2011: The Cheetahs caused a major shock in Sydney by defeating the Waratahs 23-3, with tries coming from Phillip Snyman and Sarel Pretorius. Two years later they backed that up by winning at the Australian side, running out 27-26 victors to show that 2011 was no fluke.


March 20

1937: South African Test cricketer Tuppy Owen-Smith skippers England to the Triple crown, beating Scotland 6-3 at Murrayfield.

2009: It rains cards in Wellington. Aussie referee Matt Goddard produces five yellow and one red card as the Bulls continue their unbeaten run in Super 14 by winning 19-14 over the Hurricanes.


March 21

1925: 60,000 fans attend Scotland's first match at the new Murrayfield stadium as the hosts beat England 14-11, thanks to a late drop-goal, to also complete their first Grand Slam.

1953: England end a 16-year Five Nations title drought with a 26-8 win over Scotland.


March 22

1906: The Parc des Princes in Paris hosts the first ever Test between England and France, with the visitors winning 35-8.

1997: Kenny Logan scores five tries, as new league record, for soon-to-be English champions Wasps as they smash Orrell 62-5.

1998: A Five Nations match is played on a Sunday for the first time as England beat Scotland 34-20 at Murrayfield.

1919: South Africa run eight unanswered tries past Canada to win 31-0 in the snow in Swansea.

COMMENTS