December 9 down the years
All Blacks complete a gloomy Grand Slam
The All Blacks, led by Graham Mourie and coached by Russel Thomas completed their first Grand Slam of the Home Unions for 73 years. The fourth and final leg of their achievement came with an 18-9 win against Scotland in relentless and driving rain at Murrayfield. It was close. Ian McGeechan's late drop-kick attempt to tie the game at 12-12 was charged down by Doug Bruce, the ball was hoofed upfield and Bruce Robertson won the race to touch down in the Stygian gloom. "It was our hardest game," admitted All Black manager Russ Thomas. "The fire of their forwards and their enterprise was probably the best of the four internationals."
Multi-talented Cambridge and England fullback Alastair Hignell set the individual record for most points in a Varsity match scoring 19 with the boot in his side's 34-12 Twickenham win. As one -sided as the score sounded, Cambridge only led by four points with 11 minutes remaining. It was a dull and error-strewn game and the 40,000 crowd, promised attacking rugby in the build-up, slow handclapped and jeered during the second half.
The East Wales game against the touring All Blacks had to be postponed after a foot of snow fell on South Wales the night before the match. The visitors cheered their Welsh hosts by offering to return to Cardiff in midweek - weather permitting - to fulfil the fixture, a promise they kept. The game ended in a 3-3 draw.
Cambridge's Clem Lewis became the first player to kick a penalty goal in a Varsity match as his side went on to win their annual showdown with Oxford 7-5. The scoring of the day meant the penalty (3 points) and a drop-goal (4) was worth more than Oxford's converted try. Around 12,000 watched the game at London's Queen's Club.
The centenary Varsity match ended in a narrow 9-6 win for the Dark Blues, and they won the plaudits for holding on despite fly-half John Griffiths sustaining a broken jaw after 10 minutes - he played on for another 20 before heading to A&E - Paul Speed ripping a hamstring - he too returned after a pain-killing jab - and full-back Peter Carroll being knocked out in a tackle.
Former Wales and British & Irish Lions international Mervyn Davies was born in Swansea.
South Africa concluded their tour with a 41-31 win over the Barbarians at Twickenham but not before the invitational side had opened up a 19-point lead in the first half. But as if to show how the game had moved on, the Daily Express noted: "Even if the Barbarians continue to represent some sort of essential purity because they are not paid, their expenses probably amount to somewhere near the £7,000 a man promised to the Boks to persuade them to stay on an extra week after losing to England."
Cambridge beat Oxford 6-5 to break their run of Varsity Match failures dating back to 1947.
French back-row forward Michel Sitjar was suspended by the French board for "rough play and insulting a referee".