September 28 down the years
All Blacks humbled at St. Helens
Swansea and Wales scrum-half Haydn Tanner, January 16, 1937
Haydn Tanner humbled the All Blacks on this day in 1935 © Getty Images
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Haydn Tanner and Willie Davies, Sixth Formers from Gowerton Grammar School, plotted the downfall of the All Blacks. Swansea won 11-3 in front of 35,000 at St Helen's, and not only became the first non-international side to defeat the mighty All Blacks, but also the first club team to beat all three major touring sides. Their 11-3 triumph over New Zealand followed victories over Australia in 1908 and South Africa in 1912. All the points came in the first half, and the second, played in heavy rain, became a war of attrition in which the Swansea pack gave as good as they got, including in regular bouts of fighting that broke out. New Zealand's captain Jack Manchester begged the press, "Tell them we have been beaten, but don't tell them it was by a pair of schoolboys."

Despite scoring two tries to one, the Wallabies were beaten 14-10 by the All Blacks in a Test match in Auckland. Charlie Eastes and John MacBride scored for the Wallabies, but three penalties from Bob Scott and a try from Ron Elvidge sent the 30,000 inside Eden Park home happy.

Dr Danie Craven, President of the South African Board, announced from Cape Town that Scotland would become the first Home Union ever to undertake a Test tour. The Scots faced the Springboks in April 1960, losing 18-10 in Port Elizabeth.

The Welsh XV, including a teenaged JPR Williams, drew the second Test against Argentina 9-9 in Buenos Aires. The series was lost as the tourists were defeated in the first Test a fortnight earlier.

The closing date for applications for the post of head coach to the New Zealand team passed with a record 22 applicants for the post. The position finally went to John Mitchell who steered the side through to Rugby World Cup 2003 in Australia. The team's disappointing semi-final exit at the hands of the hosts led to the end of his tenure.


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