August 15 down the years
New Zealand enter the Test arena
Portrait of the former New Zealand captain, Dave Gallaher
Dave Gallaher played in the first All Blacks Test © New Zealand Rugby Museum

New Zealand made their Test debut. Billy 'Carbine' Wallace landed two goals from marks - a unique feat in Test-match rugby - in a 22-3 defeat of Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Opai Asher, Bubs Tyler and Duncan McGregor crossed for tries, while one of the 15 debutants was the legendary wing-forward Dave Gallaher.

Tragedy struck the first Lions tourists when 28-year-old Bob Seddon, their captain, was drowned in a sculling accident at Maitland, New South Wales. Andrew Stoddart, the England rugby player and Test cricketer, assumed the captaincy for the remainder of the tour.

Don Clarke sunk Ronnie Dawson's Lions in the Test at Wellington, scoring a last-minute try and conversion to give New Zealand an 11-8 win that put them 2-0 up in the series. Winger Ralph Caulton scored a brace for the hosts, with England wing John Young scoring the tourists' only try.

South Canterbury registered their first win over a touring team, beating France 17-14 in Timaru. The match was such a rough-house that a 56-year-old mother ran on during the game and assaulted French skipper for the day Michel Crauste.

South Africa's first Test of the post-apartheid era was watched by a crowd of 70,000 at Johannesburg's Ellis Park. Old rivals New Zealand ran out 27-24 winners of an emotional match. The South African effort was highlighted by a brace of tries for centre Danie Gerber - a player of rare talent who was denied a place to shine by the abhorrent politics of his country.

South Africa overturned a 5-23 New Zealand advantage and scored 19 points in the last 15 minutes to win 24-23 in the Tri-Nations. James Dalton, Bob Skinstad, Stefan Terblanche and Joost van der Westhuizen all crossed for tries for the Springboks on their way to a maiden title.

Percy Montgomery scored 35 points to establish an individual Springbok Test record as South Africa overwhelmed Namibia 105-13 in a World Cup warm-up match staged in Cape Town.


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