August 10 down the years
Kiwis claim inaugural Tri-Nations
Andrew Mehrtens kicks a conversion during the All Blacks' win over Ireland, Ireland v New Zealand, Lansdowne Road, November 15, 1997
Andrew Mehrtens was on fine form for the All Blacks in Cape Town © Getty Images

Andrew Mehrtens enjoyed a fine afternoon with the boot as New Zealand defeated South Africa 29-18 in Cape Town to end the inaugural Tri-Nations series with a 100 percent record. Mehrtens landed five penalties and converted both of the All Blacks' tries to end with a personal tally of 19 points.

The All Blacks had already clinched the series courtesy of a dramatic 32-25 victory over Australia in Brisbane, a game in which the Kiwis had scored 17 unanswered points in the final ten minutes.

Legendary England and Wasps back-row Lawrence Dallaglio was born in Shepherd's Bush, London.

Dallaglio played a key role in his country's historic Rugby World Cup success in 2003 as part of a formidable backrow trio that also included Neil Back and Richard Hill. He was also selected for three Lions Tours, playing all three Tests on the victorious tour of South Africa in 1997.

The Lions battled their way to a 20-14 victory over Bay of Plenty at Tauranga, thus completing a perfect provincial programme in New Zealand of 20 wins from 20 games. Ireland centre Mike Gibson, captain for the game, led by example, bagging a try, with Alistair Biggar accounting the tourists' other touchdown. Bob Hiller kicked 11 points in total, while Barry John contributed a drop goal.

Bill Zeller helped himself to a hat-trick of tries in South Africa's 11-3 win over Otago at Carisbrook. Remarkably, it was the winger's second treble of the tour.

A combined Wanganui/King Country side, led by legendary All Black forward Colin Meads, caused a big upset by defeating the Lions 12-6 at Spriggens Park.

New Zealand racked up a record-breaking 15th successive Test win by overcoming France 19-12 in Auckland.


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