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The forgotten story of ... the 1973 Five Nations championship

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    The forgotten story of ... the 1973 Five Nations championship

    I saw this article in The Guardian last week - thought it was a good read.

    The forgotten story of ... the 1973 Five Nations championship
    The 2014 Six Nations championship is poised to be the closest in years, but it has some way to go before matching the 1973 edition, which finished in a five-way tie.

    Between the mid-1950s and the early-1970s, the disparity in quality between teams competing in the Five Nations was minimal and scoring opportunities at even more of a premium than they were a decade previously; Wales 0-3 England (1957), Scotland 3-3 England (1958), France 3-3 England (1960), Scotland 3-0 Wales (1961), Scotland 3-3 England, Wales 3-0 France, Ireland 3-3 Wales (1962) represented dark, wintry days for rugby fans and it's probably only the increased likelihood of a draw that meant more championships didn't finish with two wins and two defeats apiece.

    In 1973, though, that's exactly what happened. That championship is unique as a five-way tie, as at the time there was no tie-breaker, such as points difference, in use. ......

    I'm not sure I care to admit it, but I remember that 1973 season. I had a summer job in a shop in town, and sneaked into a pub to watch the Ireland-France match, the last one of the season. In the last couple of minutes, France scored a try to get within 2 of Ireland, with a relatively easy conversion to come for Romeu, so I walked out in disgust. I found out at home later that he had missed, and Ireland got their 2 wins to share the championship.

    I miss Old Dog at times like this - he'd remember that season too.....
    "I don't believe in fairytales," O'Connell once told me, "even though it feels like I've been lucky enough to live through a few. However it ends, I'll feel lucky."
    Donald McRae, Guardian Rugby, October 2015


    Originally posted by blackwarrior View Post

    I'm not sure I care to admit it, but I remember that 1973 season. .
    I wasn't long past my first birthday. One of the best parties of my life, can't remember a thing about it ...
    Tis but a scratch.


      2007 was the most recent "close" championship from Ireland's perspective. On the final day Italy, England, France and Ireland were all playing for the win, although realistically only Ireland and France were in with a shout. In the final seconds of the Itlay v Ireland game, with Ireland leading by 30 points the decision was taken to go for another try, only to see Italy turn the ball over and de Marigny score a try which was converted.

      I was at that match and remember the atmosphere post game turning quickly from one of elation and hope to fear and loathing as Elvis Vermeulen scored a try in the dying seconds of France v Scotland to give France the championship.

      My mood brightened upon discovering a bar that was determined to serve the most gin heavy g'n't's known to man and then an Indian restaurant staffed by Indian Brummies who all had the most exquisite accents.

      We still finished up the first loser. I hope to goodness that Kearney's non-tackle against Italy doesn't come back to haunt us this weekend.


        I still say that was never a try. Fecking Nordie TMO screwed up by giving that one
        My computer thinks I'm gay
        What's the difference anyway
        When all the people do all day
        Is stare into a phone


          2006 was the one that got away for me. Blitzing France in the second half for the last 25 mins in Paris after giving them a 40 point head start. Jo Maso saying Ireland would have won but for they left it too late to play some rugby. Then having to watch Pelous pick up the trophy in his tuxedo after Ireland beating England in Twickenham.
          He's a guy who gets up at six o'clock in the morning regardless of what time it is.