Burke breaks Kiwi hearts
Matt Burke lands the game-winning penalty against the All Blacks in 2002
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The All Blacks were left devastated after last-gasp defeat by Australia in Sydney. New Zealand had trailed by five points at the interval (8-3) but the Kiwis bossed the majority of the second half and two penalties from Andrew Mehrtens and a try from Richie McCaw helped them into a 14-8 advantage. However, the Wallabies, roared on by a partisan crowd of 80,000, came back, crafting a try for Mat Rogers before Matt Burke clinched a dramatic 16-14 victory for the hosts by landing a penalty in the dying seconds of the game.
Former Bath players Michael Lipman, Alex Crockett and Andrew Higgins were found guilty of misconduct by a Rugby Football Union (RFU) disciplinary panel and banned for nine months after failing to submit to two drug tests. The players were found guilty of 'conduct prejudicial to the interests of the game', but it was understood charges of taking prohibited substances were dropped. The three players were ruled to have failed on two separate occasions to provide drug tests after an end-of-season celebration in London because "they believed there was a risk of positive results". Higgins and Crockett later re-appeared in England, with Exeter and Bristol respectively, while Lipman signed for the newly-minted Melbourne Rebels Super 15 franchise in 2010.
Gerhard Morkel was the star of the show as South Africa routed South Canterbury 34-3 at Timaru. The legendary Springbok fullback scored five conversions and a penalty in what proved the biggest win of the South Africans' inaugural tour of New Zealand.
Joel Stransky accounted for all of South Africa's points (a try, a conversion and six penalties) as they defeated Australia 25-19 in Bloemfontein.
The touring All Blacks suffered a shock 8-3 defeat by the South African Combined Services in Pretoria.
South Africa made it 12 wins out of 12 on their tour of Australia with a facile 45-14 triumph over Queensland Country in Toowoomba. The Springboks went on to apply the finishing touches to their perfect tour four days later with an 18-6 win over the Wallabies in Sydney.
Kerry Packer's dream of launching a rugby world circus died, as South Africa rejected his proposals. The Australian media tycoon had planned to set up a World Rugby Championship featuring 900 of the game's top players.