Lions win thanks to playing by the rules
Willie-John McBride's knowledge of the rules came to the fore © Getty Images
The unbeaten Lions in South Africa had their narrowest escape in the provincial matches, beating Orange Free State 11-9 thanks to a JJ Williams try deep into injury time. But the finish was marred in controversy. As the referee signalled the final scrum the home side's substitute came on as a clearly concussed prop Stoffel Botha received treatment pitchside. Willie-John McBride protested because the man being replaced had not been assessed by a doctor, as was required at the time before a substitute could be made. The referee agreed and sent the replacement back to the stands. As a result the Lions drove the seven-man Free State pack back and Williams got them out of jail.
London Welsh won their appeal against the decision to block their promotion to the Aviva Premiership with the Newcastle Falcons relegated to the Championship as a result. The Exiles claimed the 2011-12 RFU Championship title with victory over Cornish Pirates in May but were denied the opportunity to step up from the second tier having failed to meet the minimum standards criteria laid down. After a promising start to the season they finished bottom of the table - having been deducted five points for failing to register a player correctly - and were relegated.
The Argentine great Hugo Porta set a then world record for a Test by landing seven penalty goals against France. Even so, France won 31-27 scoring four tries to take the series 2-0 in Buenos Aires.
Devon club side Teignmouth hit the headlines after pleading with their players not to get married in the rugby season. "The trouble is players invite their team-mates and we have a hell of a job raising sides," explained club secretary John Rowland. "Even if they don't go to the wedding they go to the stag party before it and they're not much use for anything after that." Rowland admitted he had got married 13 years earlier during the season but "it was not a match day, of course".
Welsh and British & Irish Lions legend John Dawes was born. He played in the golden era of Welsh rugby in the 1970s and he captained the Lions to their only series victory over the All Blacks in 1971. On that tour he marshalled arguably the greatest backline ever, including JPR Williams, David Duckham and Gareth Edwards, to a 2-1 series victory and he also coached the Lions side that toured in New Zealand six years later.
In the sixth match of their tour of South Africa, the Lions were beaten for the first time. A strong Griqualand West side defeated them 8-0 in Kimberley.
Viv Jenkins was in fine kicking form for the Lions, landing four conversions and two penalty goals in a 26-9 win against Western Transvaal in Potchefstroom.
Natal's Keith Oxlee's goal kicking pipped the Wallabies in Durban. The Springbok fly-half landed a penalty and a conversion in a 14-13 win at King's Park.