January 25 down the years
Barging, blocking and simply not watching
A crowd of 41,664, nearly double the attendance the previous year, saw Brive defeat Leicester 28-9 at Cardiff Arms Park in the second Heineken Cup final. Brive were ruthlessly efficient and continued from where the inaugural winners, Toulouse, left off. "To be beaten like that has come as a great shock," said Tigers skipper Dean Richards. "I've never played in a Leicester game when we have made so many unforced errors." The French side were criticised for barging and blocking in the line-out. "It's a problem I have with my coaching technique," admitted Leicester coach Bob Dwyer. "I always try to play within the laws of the game … but I've also found that it's very hard to attack without a rugby ball."
The day coach Jack Rowell walked out on Bath. With the score in the club's John Player Cup game against Orrell locked at 16-16 he walked out the ground and hid at the nearby station. "I couldn't take it any more when we decided to play high-risk rugby," he explained. John Palmer, Bath's captain, was no better off. "When I heard the cheering at the end I looked round to see whose scarves they were wearing …luckily they were ours."
France beat Ireland 5-0 in Belfast, their last Championship win on British soil for 17 years. The 25,000 fans who packed Ravenhill in Belfast did not enjoy a great match, the stodgy surface reducing the game to a gruelling forward tussle. The deadlock was broken by a runaway converted try by Robert Samatan five minutes after the interval.
In Vancouver the All Blacks and Vancouver XV wore black armbands and observed a minute's silence as a mark of respect for King George V, who had died a few days earlier. The New Zealanders won the penultimate match of their tour 32-0.
France's 12-8 win against Ireland was their first away success in the Five Nations since 1930. Wing Jean Lassegue scored two tries for the away side at Lansdowne Road.
After holding the two previous All Blacks tour sides to draws Ulster finally caved in 24-5 to Wilson Whineray's team. Peter McMullan, in the Belfast Telegraph, waxed lyrical about the New Zealanders' "gala display" in an "exhilarating game".
Johnny Moroney played a blinder in Ireland's first defeat of France for ten years. The Garryowen wing contributed 14 points - an Irish Test record at the time - in a 17-9 victory. Moroney's points came from a try, three penalties and a conversion.