September 9 down the years
All Blacks hurdle opening challenge
Australia flanker Greg Cornelsen takes on the Oxford University defence, Oxford University v Australia, Iffley Road, October 29, 1975
Greg Cornelsen scored four tries against the All Blacks on this day in 1978 © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Greg Cornelsen | John Eales

Favourites New Zealand got the 2011 World Cup up and running with a 41-10 victory over Tonga at Eden Park. Starting the tournament on home soil, the All Blacks began their campaign by running in six tries to the delight of an expectant Auckland crowd, with Richard Kahui and Israel Dagg both bagging a brace. Dan Carter weighed in with nine points with the boot as New Zealand triumphed with the minimum of fuss.

Greg Cornelsen became the first forward since 1881 to score four tries in a Test crossing for Australia in a 30-16 victory in Auckland against the All Blacks.

The game left an indelible mark on John Eales, the inspirational skipper of the Australia side that won the 1999 Rugby World Cup.

"It was the day the Wallabies scored five tries against the All Blacks and Greg Cornelsen scored four of those five tries," he said. "I walked outside and met my neighbour, he said 'did you watch the Test against the All Blacks?' I said 'yeah, we flogged them easy, it was just New Zealand' and he pulled me aside and said 'you don't realise what you've just seen, because what you have just seen has never happened before in the history of Australia-New Zealand Test matches.

"When it comes to rugby there is no team better than the All Blacks, what you have seen is something very, very rare.'"

The Tri-Nations ended its first season under a new format with South Africa beating Australia 24-16 in the tournament's ninth game of the season - the first time the three sides had played an extra game at home and away.

New Zealand cantered to the title, picking up the Bledisloe Cup and Freedom Cup in the process, the Springboks finishing bottom due to the Wallabies' bonus-points.

Portugal made their first appearance at Rugby World Cup Finals, losing 56-10 against Scotland in Saint Etienne.

The first fully representative Australian team to tour overseas beat Wanganui/Taranaki Combined 18-13 in Hawera.

Wasps opened their Courage Leagues Championship-winning season by laying down the gauntlet to main rivals Leicester. Rob Andrew lead his side to a 29-12 win at Repton Avenue and kicked five penalties and a conversion in the process.


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