Thee sent off Port Elizabeth punch-up
James Dalton and Rod Snow are sent off during the ill-tempered World Cup match in Port Elizabeth © PA Photos
South Africa beat Canada 20-0 in a World Cup pool match in Port Elizabeth in a clash remembered for the dismissal of three players in what was a brutal contest. Referee David McHugh dismissed South Africa's hooker James Dalton along with Canada's captain Gareth Rees and prop Rod Snow after a full-on brawl erupted in the second-half. Springbok wing Pieter Hendricks was cited after the game for kicking and punching a Canadian, while fullback Scott Stewart was deemed guilty of inciting the fight. The pair were slung out of the tournament and suspended for 90 and 60 days respectively. Replays suggested the referee had got it wrong in all three instances.
After being whitewashed in the Five Nations, England were predicted to lose all their matches in South Africa, not just the one-off Test. On arrival, the local press described them as "the flops and faceless men of '72". But the journalists were left red-faced as fullback Sam Doble, on his debut, kicked the tourists to a famous 18-9 victory at Ellis Park, landing 14 of their points.
A busy day at the inaugural World Cup as the pool stages came to a close. England thumped the USA 34-6 with the Daily Express reporting: "England played a disciplined forward game, and dominated totally … the Americans hardly saw the ball [and] when they did, they were usually setting world records for running backwards." That set up a quarter-final meeting with Wales who beat Canada 40-9 in controversial circumstances. Canada's scrum-half Ian Stuart had to have stitches after bring head-butted by Ray Giles. "Rugby is an aggressive sport," Giles said. "I'm only 5'6" and I've got to look after myself." Ireland beat Tonga 32-9 to book a daunting quarter-final against Australia in Sydney while David Campese scored a world-record-equalling 21st international try as Australia defeated Japan 42-23.
Tragedy at the World Cup … three minutes into Ivory Coast's 29-11 defeat by Tonga, their winger Max Brito was trapped under a ruck after being tackled and suffered a broken back. He was rushed to hospital but despite several operations was left a quadriplegic. "It is now 12 years since I have been in this state," he said in 2007. "I have come to the end of my tether. If one day I fall seriously ill, and if I have the strength and courage to take my own life, then I will do it...This bloody handicap … it's my curse. It kills me and I will never accept it. I can't live with it and it's going to be with me for the rest of my life."
In their fifth New Zealand tour match, Doug Prentice's Lions were beaten for the first time, losing 12-8 to Wellington. The difference between the sides proved to be a four-point dropped goal kicked by the Wellington skipper, Cliff Porter.
Skipper Andy Irvine fired Scotland to a 32-9 win in New Zealand against Wairarapa-Bush with a full-house of scoring actions. In all he finished with 24 points from two tries, two conversions, three penalty goals and a dropped goal. It was closer than the final scoreline suggested, as the game was tied at 9-9 when Wairarapa-Bush scored a try shortly after the break.
Four Welshmen shared the points in the Lions 16-5 defeat of Canterbury. Ken Jones, Bleddyn Williams and Don Hayward scored tries; John Robins landed a penalty and two conversions.
As a result of one of the coldest European winters on record, the final of the French club championship was staged in June for the first time. The city of miracles, Lourdes, overwhelmed Dax 20-0 in Toulouse, with winning captain Jean Prat dropping two goals. It was the biggest victory margin in a French final for 43 years.
1968 Tom Kiernan's Lions made it six wins from six matches with a 32-6 victory over Rhodesia in Salisbury. Welsh prop John O'Shea scored two of the Lions' five tries.