November 25 down the years
All Blacks take the haka indoors
Ali Williams leads the haka indoors at the Millennium Stadium in 2006
© Getty Images
The All Blacks performed their haka in their dressing room before beating Wales 45-10 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. The WRU had asked them to perform it between the anthems rather than after them. New Zealand had objected to a directive from the WRU that the haka would be staged between the national anthems, rather than just before kick-off as has become traditional. The WRU had wanted the Welsh national anthem, Hen Wlad fy Nhadau, to be their official response and informed New Zealand of the protocol on October 16. New Zealand had agreed to the same request from the WRU in 2005 as part of the celebrations marking a centenary of rugby between the two nations. "The tradition needs to be honoured properly if we're going to do it," fumed All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw. "If the other team wants to mess around, we'll just do the haka in the shed (changing room). At the end of the day, haka is about spiritual preparation and we do it for ourselves. Traditionally fans can share the experience too and it's sad that they couldn't see it today. The players didn't take the decision lightly."
South Africa gave notice of their rising stock less than a year from the 2007 World Cup by defeating England 25-14 at Twickneham - their first success against the English after seven successive defeats in the previous six years. Defeat, thanks to a try by prop CJ van der Linde and 20 points from fly-half Andre Pretorius, piled pressure on England boss Andy Robinson following an earlier defeat to Argentina.
Ireland and New Zealand met for the first time. The touring All Blacks were given a stern examination before running out 15-0 winners through three converted tries. Bob Deans, great uncle of future All Blacks Bruce and Robbie Deans, scored a brace. Unfortunately the defeat was a taste of what was to come as New Zealand are yet to be beaten by Ireland, with Munster's win over the All Blacks in 1978 the closest they have come.
The best Test of the All Blacks' tour was played out in Paris where New Zealand defeated France 21-15 in a bruising yet exciting contest. Malcolm Dick, Sid Going, Ian Kirkpatrick and Anthony Steel scored the All Blacks' tries with fullback Fergie McCormick slotting three penalties and a conversion.
The planned Ulster-South Africa tour match was cancelled owing to fears of civil unrest in the province. The decision to abandon the match was taken after a meeting at Stormont of the Northern Ireland Security Committee.
Jason Leonard overtook Rory Underwood as England's most-capped player in a dour 19-0 win against Argentina, winning his 86th cap.