September 2 down the years
Springboks beat Wales at start of new era
Tempers flare during an ill-tempered clash between South Africa and Wales, South Africa v Wales, Ellis Park, Johannesburg, South Africa, September 2, 1995
Tempers flare during an ill-tempered clash between South Africa and Wales on this day in 1995 © Getty Images

In the first international match of the professional era, South Africa defeated Wales 40-11 at Ellis Park in Johannesburg.

Centre Japie Mulder, captain and flanker Francois Pienaar, winger James Small and lock Kobus Wiese all crossed for tries for the hosts in their first outing since winning the Rugby World Cup with fly-half Joel Stransky weighing in with three penalties and three conversions. Flanker Mark Bennett dotted down for Wales' only try while replacement hooker Garin Jenkins saw red for a punch.

Wiese was lucky to escape a similar punishment for a punch on Wales lock Derwyn Jones during an ill-tempered clash but he was cited after the game, along with Jenkins, with both players subsequently handed 30-day bans.

Edward Griffiths, the Sarfu chief executive, said afterwards, "Professionalism doesn't only imply being paid, but implies high standards of conduct too."

The final nail in Dean Richards' reputation came with the publishing of the ERC report into the Bloodgate affair. The scale of Richards' deception was brought home and the committee panel accused him of trying to save his own neck rather than, as he claimed, trying to save others in the aftermath of the incident. "It was open to him at any stage to have said 'enough is enough' and that the reputation of rugby and Harlequins had been sufficiently damaged," the report said. "If he had admitted at any stage prior to the conclusion of the disciplinary hearing the truth of what happened, then the damage to the individuals, the club and the game of rugby union would have been very much reduced. "His was the dominant personality and influence on affairs. He knew or ought to have known that players such as Tom Williams would likely obey his directions whether it meant cheating or not." Richards headed off into the wilderness to serve his three-year ban.

New Zealand thrashed Australia 30-17 in Lancaster Park, Christchurch to retain the Bledisloe Cup.

Skipper Ian Kirkpatrick grabbed two tries for the hosts with Alan Sutherland, Graham Whiting and Bryan Williams also getting amongst the scorers. Fullback Trevor Morris rounded out the scoring with two penalties and two conversions. Jeff McLean also notched a brace for the Wallabies with John Cole adding another but they were unable to overhaul New Zealand.

The All Blacks' victory followed a 29-6 victory in Wellington the previous month that together with the Christchurch success ensured the sizeable Bledisloe silverware remained on New Zealand's side of the Tasman. New Zealand would not relinquish the trophy until 1978 when Australia finally ended their domination after a record 27-year reign.

The first New Zealand-Australia Test staged on New Zealand soil resulted in a 14-3 win for New Zealand in Dunedin. New Zealand fielded effectively their third XV while their leading players were en route for a tour of Britain, Ireland and France.

The New Zealand team set a new record score and winning margin for a touring team in South Africa beating the North-East Cape Selection 85-0 in Burgersdorp. Gerald Kember landed 34 points with 16 successful goal kicks from 20 attempts and Grahame Thorne scored four tries.

Fiji wound up a 13-match visit to New Zealand with a 31-20 win in a thriller against an Auckland Invitation XV. The victory gave them an impressive tour record of played 13, won 8 and lost 5.


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