August 26 down the years
Wallabies claim maiden Tri-Nations
John Eales lifts the Tri Nations trophy after Australia defeated South Africa at King's Park, Durban. August 26 2000
John Eales led the Wallabies to their maiden Tri-Nations title on this day in 2000 © Getty Images

Australia beat South Africa 19-18 in Durban to collect their first Tri Nations title. The Wallabies, fresh from winning the 1999 Rugby World Cup, were led by the monumental John Eales and collected the trophy after a thrilling tournament. Having traded victories with the All Blacks in two classic Test matches, losing 39-35 in front of a world record crowd at Stadium Australia and winning 24-23 in Wellington, they claimed the series after a see-saw game in Durban. The Wallabies had already beaten the Springboks twice during the tournament, but were dominated from the outset at Kings Park. The hosts were unable to convert their chances however, allowing Eales' men to hang in during the closing stages. Braam van Straaten landed six penalties to hand the home side a slender two point lead in the closing stages, but a try from Chris Latham and a last-gasp penalty from Stirling Mortlock brought the trophy to Australia.

Mark Morrison, a Scot, captained the Lions in a drawn Test against South Africa, who are also led by an ex-Scottish international, Alex Frew. The referee, moreover, is Bill Donaldson, another former Scottish cap.

The Lions were forced to work hard for a 7-0 win against Cape Colony Clubs at Kimberley in the 18th match of their tour of South Africa.

The Springboks won the first-ever series with the Wallabies, going two up with one to play as a result of their 11-0 fourth Test victory at Port Elizabeth. Boy Louw and Jimmy White crossed for the Springboks, who lost the dead-rubber fifth Test but claimed the series 3-2.

New Zealand went two up in their series with the Wallabies, beating Tony Shaw's tourists 22-6 in Christchurch. The Kiwis lost the final Test match 30-16, but claimed the series thanks to their unassailable lead.

As part of the celebrations marking the centenary of the South African Rugby Board the Springboks played their first Test for three years, beating a World XV 20-19 at Cape Town.


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