November 1 down the years
Bledisloe Cup touches down in Hong Kong
Richie McCaw lifts the Bledisloe Cup in Hong Kong
© Getty Images
New Zealand and Australia broke new ground in Hong Kong, playing their Bledisloe Cup match on neutral ground for the first time. The sides had met on neutral territory only in World Cup games previously (when the Bledisloe Cup was not at stake). The All Blacks had sealed the Tri-Nations and retained the Bledisloe Cup, but treated 37,000 fans at Hong Kong Stadium to a 19-14 win. The All Blacks slipped behind to a quick-fire brace from Wallabies wing Drew Mitchell, but salvaged their effort with tries from skipper Richie McCaw and winger Sitiveni Sivivatu.
Wales lost 3-23 in a one-off Test against New Zealand at Cardiff to celebrate their Centenary season. Nicky Allen, Hika Reid and Bernie Fraser scored tries for the All Blacks along with an effort from skipper Graham Mourie. Steve Fenwick led a strong Wales side boasting Terry Holmes, Gareth Davies JPR Williams, Derek Quinnell and Graham Price in the starting XV, and scored their only points through a penalty. The margin would have been far worse had New Zealand not missed five out of six penalty attempts.
Scotland just avoided the humiliation of failing to qualify for the knock-out stages of the World Cup beating Fiji 22-20 in their final pool match in Sydney. Chris Paterson, not for the first or last time, was the hero with five penalties and a conversion of British & Irish Lions prop Tom Smith's try. Paterson was playing one of his few Tests at fly-half. The Fijians fell just short despite two tries from the infuriatingly brilliant Rupeni Caucaunibuca.
Rugby School staged a special four-nations match to celebrate the
centenary of the Rugby game. England/Wales beat Scotland/Ireland 21-16 in front of 2000 invited spectators which included 800 boys from the school. The great and good then headed for a centenary dinner in Marylebone.
2004Former Wales captain Rob Howley was forced to retire because of an injury to his right wrist. "It's a very sad and scary feeling to be told that your rugby career is over," he admitted.
The Wallabies gave the best display of their tour to date with a fine 20-8 win in a fast, open game in front of 15,000 against the London Counties at Twickenham.
Italy, in green shirts, white shorts and red stockings lost 9-3 in the closing quarter of their tour match at Twickenham against London Counties.