Bloodgate rears its ugly head
Quins winger Tom Williams leaves the field with fake blood streaming from his mouth on this day in 2009
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Two penalties from the boot of fly-half Felipe Contepomi saw Leinster edge out Harlequins 6-5 in their Heineken Cup quarter-final clash at The Stoop in the game that will always be remembered as the origins of the fake blood scandal that became known as 'Bloodgate'. With five minutes of the game remaining, winger Tom Williams was given a blood capsule and ordered to feign injury so that substituted fly-half Nick Evans could return to the fray and hopefully kick his side to victory. Quins were unable to engineer a late escape and were later the subject of an ERC investigation that found the club guilty of misconduct and an attempt to cover up the incident. Quins director of rugby Dean Richards was banned for three years and Williams was suspended for 12 months, later reduced to four on appeal. The club itself was fined £300,000, physiotherapist Steph Brennan was handed a two-year ban for his part in the scam and club doctor Wendy Chapman was suspended by the General Medical Council for allegedly cutting Williams' mouth in an attempt to conceal his use of a fake blood capsule. The investigation not only unearthed an attemptee cover-up but also similar incidents and sparked a crackdown by the RFU and Premier Rugby who were forced to go on the offensive in a bid to restore the game's reputation.
Wales thumped England 30-9 in Cardiff where wing Maurice Richards equalled the Welsh Championship record by running in four tries. The game was all square at half-time, but Richards' burst and a further try and drop-goal from Barry John were complemented by 12 points from the boot of Keith Jarrett to send England home with their tails between their legs. Wales ended the season with the Triple Crown and Five Nations title.
Cardiff staged its first Test match. Wales beat Ireland who turned up two men short and had to "borrow" two locals to make up their XV. Wales won the game by one goal to nil, under the old scoring system, with the crucial blow being struck by halfback Buller Staddan.
France, the Five Nations co-champions with Scotland, ended their season with a 25-13 victory against Romania in the first Test ever staged in Lille. The great Philippe Sella crossed for a try while Patrice Lagisquet popped up forn another after starting the game among the replacements.
Toulouse (comfortably 32-16 against Northampton) and Leinster (narrowly 18-13 against Biarritz at Lansdowne Road) won their Heineken Cup quarter-finals. Toulouse went on to win the tournament after subsequent victories over Munster and Leinster's eventual conquerors Perpignan.
New Zealand downed Australia 35-18 to sweep into the final of the Under-19 FIRA-IRB World Junior Rugby Championships in Santiago, Chile. New Zealand outscored Australia four tries to two, and led 27-6 at halftime, but the scoreboard failed to accurately reflect the closeness of the match. Australia dominated for large periods, especially in the second half, but they struggled to breach a New Zealand defensive line which scrambled magnificently time and again.
Wilf Wooller, the Wales and Cardiff captain serving with the Royal Artillery, was reported missing after the fighting in Java. He was subsequently found to be a prisoner of war.
The Barbarians ran up their then highest score against Penarth, winning 73-10 on the 50th anniversary of club membership of their new president, Herbert Waddell.