November 23 down the years
England humiliate shamed Springboks
Turning point - Jannes Labuschagne is sent off opening the floodgates for England © Getty Images

England rounded off their autumn in style with an emphatic 53-3 win over South Africa at Twickenham, completing a hat-trick of wins over the Tri-Nations. In a physical match, Springbok Jannes Labuschagne was sent off after 23 minutes for a late shoulder charge on England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson and from there on it was one-way traffic. After leading 18-3 at half-time, England ran home five tries in the second half to inflict a record defeat on the tourists. "There was a lot going on out there, and our self-control was magnificent," England coach Clive Woodward said. "All the key guys in the team kept their control when they could have lost it." Labuschagne never played for his country again.

On the day after US President John Kennedy was assassinated the All Blacks scraped past Cardiff 6-5. Cardiff scored the only try of the day through Cliff Howe to give them a 5-3 lead but a 52nd-minute drop-goal from Mac Herewini silenced the 55,000 crowd and gave the tourists the win. "I hate to think what would have happened if the Cardiff fullback, Alun Friday, had kicked only one of four first-half penalties," admitted Kiwi skipper Wilson Whineray. Spectators headed home to watch the first episode of a new BBC science fiction series - Dr Who.

The press called for youth to be given a chance (the Daily Express headlined its report 'Demob Day for Nears for Dad's Army') after the 15-6 defeat to New Zealand in Dublin. Joe Karam, scored all New Zealand's points, punishing the Irish's loose technical infringements by kicking three penalties to add to his converted try.

Newport had both their locks (Robert Young and Andrew Perry) sent off in an otherwise passive match against London Welsh at Old Deer Park, with Glyn Llewelyn also receiving his marching orders after a mass brawl. Referee Keith Griffiths, also a Welshman, said : "I sent Young off for kicking, Llewelyn for pummelling Young and Perry for hitting Llewelyn." It led to calls for Newport to be suspended after several incidents in the preceding weeks. It was a bad day for discipline with three players red carded in the County Championship - Howard Pitton (Cheshire), Noaln Stewart (Hampshire) and John May (Cornwall).

Ray "Chico" Hopkins, perennial understudy to Gareth Edwards as scrum-half for Wales, switched codes and joined rugby league side Swinton for a reported fee of £8000. Less than a month earlier he played for the Llanelli that played and beat the All Blacks.

Brothers Freddie, Dick and John Luyt played in the South Africa Test side that beat Scotland 16-0 at Inverleith. The tourists went on to beat all five major European countries.

The first clash between Glasgow and Edinburgh took place, one of the oldest rivalries in the sport's history and certainly older than football's more famous Old Firm. Edinburgh won the first clash 3-0.

Former England great Tom Voyce's Select XV beat Wavell Wakefield's team 18-11 in a charity match in front of a 4000-strong crowd at Gloucester.

In a side featuring a number of Italian internationals, Rugby Milano were defeated 27-6 by Blackheath, as they opened their short tour of England in difficult condition.


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