September 26 down the years
Minnows have their World Cup day
Georgia's Goderdzi Shvelidze gets to grips with Namibia's Jacques Nieuwenhuis, Georgia v Namibia, Rugby World Cup Pool C, Stade Felix Bollaert, Lens, France, September 26, 2007
Georgia's Goderdzi Shvelidze gets to grips with Namibia's Jacques Nieuwenhuis © Getty Images

As the Rugby World Cup pool stages drew to a close, the second-tier nations had their day in the limelight. In the first battle of the minnows the honours went to Georgia after a 30-0 win against Namibia in Lens. Tries from Akvsenti Giorgadze, Irakli Machkhaneli Davit Kacharava and 15 points from the boot of Merab Kvirikashvili were enough for an historic first victory in the sport's showpiece event.

The day's second Rugby World Cup battle of the minnows was a tight affair between Samoa and the USA. The Islanders scored three tries to pip The Eagles 25-21 in Saint Etienne.

Lome Fa'atau, Alesana Tuilagi and Kane Thompson grounded before the break as the Polynesians avoided the ignominy of going through the tournament winless, following earlier defeats to South Africa, Tonga and England. Samoa thus finish fourth in their group with the USA last.

John Eales lands four successful kicks in a hard-fought 25-13 defeat of Samoa to help Australia qualify for the 1999 Rugby World Cup finals in Wales. Prop Dan Crowley, centre Dan Herbet and No.8 Willie Ofahengaue also crossed for tries in Brisbane with scrum-half John Clarke and flanker Junior Paramore dotting down for the Islanders.

The first British touring team to New Zealand beat the South Island in Dunedin. Arthur Stoddart, who later captained England at cricket, led the tourists to a 5-3 victory.

Fiji, making their first tour of Europe, took part in a festival of memorable rugby against a strong Welsh XV at Cardiff before losing 28-22 in perfect conditions. Wales No.8 Alun Pask scores a dazzling try with the ball in one hand after dummying his way to the line.


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