November 29 down the years
'One girl lost her bra to a grinning six-footer'
For once playing in the mud was enjoyed by all ... © Getty Images

An unusual match at Feltham in Middlesex got an unusual level of media coverage when 30 ladies challenged 15 men to a game of rugby in aid of charity. "Some of the goings-on in the ooze and the rain were far from charitable," chirped the Daily Mirror. "One girl lost her bra to a grinning six-footer. The girls retaliated by debagging the opposing team's hooker. And a lanky second - row forward emerged from a mass of bodies to find he had lost his briefs … a blonde surfacing from underneath a pile of bodies shouted 'Get your hands off my sister, you dirty beast'. And the cry when a petite redhead found herself locked in the brawny arms of a six-footer of 'Where's the ball?' was met the reply: 'Who cares about tile bail?'

A weekend of violence in Wales where 11 players were sent off in four matches, prompting an emergency meeting of the Welsh Rugby Union's disciplinary committee. Six - three from each side - were sent off in the game between Llangwm and Cardigan with referee Brain Davies telling reporters: "They were having a go right from the start … I've never experienced anything like it."

A good day for Wales who beat Australia 21-18 at Cardiff and a lucky one for Jamie Roberts who played for 15 minutes with a fractured skull after a sickening third-minute head-to-head collision with Aussie skipper Stirling Mortlock. Wales were never more than an unconverted try ahead until the 77th minute. And their eight-point advantage was slashed when wing Digby Ioane's touchdown sparked a frantic finale.

Reports emerged that Jonny Wilkinson was being watched by representatives of the San Diego Chargers to see if he would be suitable to play in the NFL. "The club sent a scout to Australia to assess his kicking skills and the entire NFL will have access to their report as the rules stipulate it must be circulated to all franchises," said the Daily Star. "Wilko could command about $2 million for the NFL's 16-game season."

A chill wind blew through Twickenham as England were dissected 32-6 by the All Blacks. "For all their undoubted valour, the uncomfortable truth is that the mostly inexperienced players available to new manager Martin Johnson are not yet good enough," said the Daily Express. "Or anywhere near disciplined enough." For Martin Johnson, five weeks into his tenure as manager, it was his third loss in four matches. "It doesn't really feel like a honeymoon," he said. "I've had phenomenal failure before. For every World Cup I won, I lost two and for every Lions win I had, I lost two. It's not nice, it's not comfortable. If it was comfortable, it would be time to go." Had Dan Carter not had an off day and missed five of his 11 kicks it would have been worse.

A combined England/Wales XV beat a Scotland/Ireland XV 37-30 in Cardiff in a match to mark the centenary of the Welsh Rugby Union. Around 45,000, including the Queen and Prince Phillip, watched a total of 12 tries

In only his third match as head coach, Clive Woodward saw his team ship a then record number of points in a Twickenham Test as South Africa beat England 29-11. Centre Nick Greenstock scored England's sole try.

The All Blacks' proposed tour of Ireland was cancelled owing to the foot-and-mouth epidemic on the British mainland. The tour itinerary was rearranged to include a match against the Barbarians at Twickenham in mid-December. 2006
Three sailors from HMS Portland were arrested by Italian police after zigzagging around Trieste harbour in a small boat during a NATO exercise. They claimed they had been celebrating England's World Cup triumph a few days earlier.

New Zealand beat Wales for the first time, avenging their defeat on the 1905 tour with a convincing 19-0 win in front of 50,000 at Swansea. Nicknamed 'The Invincibles', they wove a path through the northern hemisphere, winning all 32 tour matches including four Tests - against Wales, Ireland, England and France.

The Varsity match was staged on a Saturday for the first time as the Home Office was anxious to cut down mid-week sport during an industrial crisis. Cambridge won a negative and uninspiring game 6-0 through two penalty goals kicked by Hugh Lloyd-Davies.

"Beer and buns for both teams followed the first Anglo-German. Rugby match in Berlin since the war," reported the Yorkshire Post. "A Control Commission XV beat a German team 20-8. The British reduced their side to 14 when a German player was injured."


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