November 28 down the years
Eales sinks England, Ireland floor the Boks
John Eales kicks the winning points to sink England in 1998 © Getty Images

John Eales' late penalty goal helped his Wallaby side to pip England 12-11 at Twickenham, his fourth kick of the day four minutes from time. The only try came from Jerry Guscott to put England 11-9 up a seven minutes earlier but Mike Catt missed the conversion which would have put England more than a kick ahead.

Ireland, wearing white, beat world champions South Africa 15-10 at Croke Park. In a physical match, the Boks opened up a 10-3 lead but Jonny Sexton slotted five penalties to set up a tense finale as South Africa threw everything at the Irish who defended their line to the end. "You always know you are going to get a physical game against them, but we weren't stepping back," said Brian O'Driscoll. "You don't come to our patch and bully us. We were going to give as good as we got. It was backs-to-the-wall, bodies-on-the-line stuff at the end, but it was great to keep them out and finish 2009 unbeaten."

JPR Williams caused spluttering of G&Ts among the Wales board with a claim he knew of two current internationals who were on steroids. Williams, a doctor, said: "Taking banned substances is fairly rife, and most of it is done in the off-season. It is fairly well-recognised that certain players have been on anabolic steroids and haven't been tested. Former England and British Lions prop Mike Burton said: "Drugs are a problem. It is obvious from some of the body shapes you see that they are not natural." Jeff Probyn, calling for random testing, added: "My suspicions are aroused by seeing players who have changed their body shape dramatically in a short period of time when I know there are physiological limits to what a person can do naturally."

Days after Scotland were annihilated by South Africa, Dally Allardice played a blinder at scrum-half for the North of Scotland as the Springboks struggled to a 14-3 win in Aberdeen.

Teenager Bleddyn Williams scored a last-minute try, which he also converted, gave Cardiff a 14-10 victory over the RAF in Cardiff. Williams was still five years away from beginning his international career, which would bring 22 Wales caps, five for the British & Irish Lions and the nickname of "the Prince of centres".

An odd apology from Scotland's Kenny Logan who said sorry to fans after they had failed to run up three figures after beating Portugal 85-11 in a World Cup Qualifier. Not that he had many people to say sorry to; only 6000 turned up at Murrayfield much to the disgust of coach Jim Telfer. "The players deserved a better response from the public," he said.

David Campese used a press conference after his final outing at Twickenham to engage in an anti-English outburst which has been his hallmark ever since. The main attention before Australia beat the Barbarians 30-20 was whether Campese and Will Carling - there was little love lost between them - would shake hands - they did - and he then told reporters: "I don't really worry what I say. If you give it you've got to take it and I've been copping it for 10 years now, so why should worry?"

For only the second time in their history Munster completed the "Triple Crown" of victories in the Irish Inter-Pro Championship. They wrapped up their second Crown in three years with an 18-14 defeat of Leinster at Thomond Park in Limerick.

Fiji stopped off to score nine tries in beating Canada 35-17 in Burnaby on their way home from a tour of Britain.

Italy, coached by former French star Pierre Villepreux, gave Graham Mourie's All Blacks a thorough examination in Rovigo. The tourists eventually ran out 18-12 winners in the last match of their European visit.


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