February 15 down the years
France implosion hands England victory
England lock Martin Bayfield lies prone after being stamped on
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France lost their heads in a 31-13 Five Nations thrashing by England. As Gallic tempers flared the French conceded a penalty try and have two of their front-row sent off by referee Steve Hilditch of Ireland. Just months after a tempestuous World Cup quarter-final Gregoire Lascube saw red for kicking Martin Bayfield and was followed to the bench by Vincent Moscato, whose performance was a barely contained frenzy. Moscato never played for France again, and Dewi Morris and Rory Underwood tries ensured a miserable farewell.
England set a then all-time Five Nations record winning margin, beating Ireland 46-6 in Dublin. Wingers Tony Underwood and Jon Sleightholme both finished the game with braces, while Andy Gomarsall and Richard Hill completed a miserable afternoon for Ireland. Austin Healey made his England debut from the replacements bench.
Italy opened their Six Nations season with a first-ever victory (30-22) against Wales in Rome's Stadio Flaminio. The defeat was the lowest ebb of a terrible season for Wales, when they were whitewashed and claimed the Wooden Spoon. Shane Williams, Dwayne Peel and Tom Shanklin scored tries for the visitors but they were unable to stop Diego Dominguez from steering the Azzurri home. The fly-half kicked 15 points, including two drop goals and the conversions to tries by Giampiero de Carli, Carlo Festuccia and No.8 Matthew Phillips.
England and Ireland met in an international match for the first time. England won by a converted try, a try and a dropped goal to nil (before the introduction of scoring by points) at The Oval.
Wales beat England for the first time. Bill Stadden scored the only try (worth one point at the time) in their 1-0 win at Dewsbury.
Wilson Whineray, the popular captain of the All Blacks, scored the eighth and final try of a 36-3 win against the Barbarians at Cardiff.
A Welsh team of all the talents registered its sixth successive Cardiff win against England, running in three tries in a 20-4 victory. Steve Fenwick, JJ Williams and Gerald Davies added the stardust with tries.
Bristol's Alan Morley crossed for his 313th try for the club in their fixture with the Royal Navy. He thus became the then world record holder for most tries for one club, passing the mark set by Andy Hill for Llanelli.
In his third Test match, Gavin Hastings kicked 21 points, a new Scotland record for a Test, as the Scots massacred England 33-6 at Murrayfield - their highest score and biggest winning margin for the series.