November 18 through the years
England beat world champions after trial by television
Dan Luger celebrates his late winning try to sink the Australians © Getty Images

England beat the world champion Wallabies 22-19 but they had to wait for the first use of technology at Twickenham before they knew they had won. Seven minutes into stoppage time Dan Luger seized on Iain Balshaw's chip but referee Andre Watson said he was unsure if the ball had been grounded properly and referred it upstairs. "It was an emotional experience waiting for the decision because once the referee had gone for the screen, an element of doubt creeps in," said Luger. "I was watching the replays just like everyone else and thought I heard Andre say he had seen a forward pass. In the end I was just crying 'come on, give it'." Australia paid for having two players sin binned but it could have been even worse - lock David Giffin was lucky not to see red after punching lineout rival Danny Grewcock.

On the same day France defeated the All Blacks 42-33 in Marseilles courtesy of tries from Fabien Galthie, Xavier Garbajosa and Olivier Magne while Doug Howlett, Justin Marshall and Gordon Slater got tries for the All Blacks.

Uproar followed the RFU's announcement of the itinerary for the 1981-82 tour by Australia with the unrest surrounding the allocation of a game to Leicester, the first major club side to face a touring side for 70 years. Leicester gained their fixture as a result of winning the John Player Cup.

New Zealand played their first international on British soil, winning 12-7 against Scotland at Inverleith. The All Blacks' Originals had sailed for 40 days aboard the SS Rimutaka to get to Britain but the Scots had so little regard for the tourists that they refused them the £200 match fee, instead offering any profit from the gate. By the time they reached Scotland New Zealand had made quite a name for themselves and drew a full house, meaning the Scots' move backfired and the All Blacks left with a win and £1,000.

A Phil Vickery try eight minutes from time ended a run of seven defeats in a row for world champions England as they beat South Africa 23-21 at Twickenham.

Munster celebrated an 8-3 victory over Leinster in an Irish Inter-Pro at Lansdowne Road. No cross-channel players were considered for selection by either side due to the recent outbreak of World War Two.

The issue of substitutions was highlighted by London Welsh's defeat at the hands of Bristol in the National Knockout Cup. London Welsh went down 13-6 at Old Deer Park despite playing with 13 men for more than half of the match. The Daily Mirror noted: "Even allowing for all the stoppages this was the most thrilling game of rugby I have seen all season."


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