Scotland drop to Triple Crown success
Tom Varndell runs in the winning try as Leicester ensured there would be no French clubs in the Heineken Cup semi-finals for the first time
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Scotland beat Ireland by two dropped goals (then worth four points each) to two tries (three points each) to win the Triple Crown in a match postponed from February, again stirring a rumbling unease over the value of the drop goal. The Guardian rather uncharitably noted their success came against an "unintelligent and injury-ravaged" England and a "weak" Wales … and, in case anyone was in doubt over their correspondent's view, he added Ireland were the better side as well.
Leicester battled their way into the last four of the Heineken Cup with a pulsating 21-20 victory over French championship leaders Stade Français. It was a bad day for the French as Northampton produced one of the biggest shocks in the tournament's history by winning 7-6 at Biarritz. "I'm disappointed, angry and frustrated," admitted Biarritz coach Patrice Lagisquet. "Going into the game, no way could I see Northampton beating us."
A teenaged Gareth Edwards made his debut for Wales in a 20-14 defeat by France in Paris. It was Guy Camberabero's 14 points that proved the difference between the sides, helping the French battle back from a 9-14 deficit.
The Barbarians wound up their first season with an 11-0 defeat of Devon at Exeter. "Drewy" Stoddart, who captained England at both cricket and rugby, scored one of the Baa-Baas' five tries and converted three.
1943 Brian McMaster, who had been selected as hooker for England against Scotland a week later, was reported as killed on active service, the ninth playing member from Bedford to die in the war.
Rhys Williams made his Wales debut in a 23-19 win against Ireland in Dublin. The win was, nevertheless, overshadowed by the revelation they fielded several ineligible players, and as the match was being played the IRC called for a judicial panel to decide the depth of the WRU's guilt in "capping players with dubious or bogus qualifications".
The 1938 Lions side who toured South Africa were briefly reunited at Ravenhill in Belfast where their popular skipper Sammy Walker led them to a 39-12 win against their manager, B C Hartley's XV, in front of 7,000 spectators.
The SS Ceramic set sail from Liverpool carrying the British/Irish Lions on their month-long voyage to Wellington for the tour of New Zealand and Australia. The 30-man party was the last to undertake a Lions tour by sea.