July 26 down the years
Rokocoko nets first Tri-Nations hat-trick
Joe Rokocoko scores his third try in New Zealand's hammering of Australia © Getty Images
For the second week in a row the All Blacks ran up fifty points away from home in the Tri-Nations, defeating Australia 50-21 at Stadium Australia. It was Australia's third straight loss, their worst losing sequence in eight years and came after they briefly led 5-0. Carlos Spencer kicked 13 points and Joe Rokocoko became the first player to cross for a hat-trick in a Tri-Nations Test. All Black coach John Mitchell said that while pleased "there's room for improvement to be made … and a lot of work to be done in certain components of our game".
Australia went top of the Tri-Nations table with two wins from two matches after defeating New Zealand 34-19 in Sydney after coming from behind. Fourteen points from the boot of Matt Giteau brought the Wallabies their biggest Tri-Nations win against the All Blacks for nine years and in so doing extending their unbeaten run to five matches.
Escalating civil unrest led to New Zealand's acting prime minister Duncan MacIntyre seeking legal advice on whether the visas of the Springbok tourists could be withdrawn to in effect cancel their controversial tour. The PM, Robert Muldoon, in London for the wedding of Prince Charles, said he wished he "could get shot" of the tour. In the event the tour - and the violence - continued.
New Zealand took a winning 2-1 lead in their series with the Lions after winning the Auckland Test 15-10.
The Wallabies began their third tour of South Africa with a 14-all draw against South West Africa in Windhoek. Michael Cleary, Beres Ellwood and Ed Magrath score tries and "Sparrow" Dowse landed a conversion and penalty for the tourists.
France caused an upset by holding the Springboks 3-3 at Cape Town in their first Test match played on South African soil.