Last-gasp Howlett seals it for New Zealand
New Zealand's Doug Howlett and Carlos Spencer celebrate a try against South Africa on this day in 2004
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New Zealand grabbed a last-gasp 23-21 victory over South Africa in a heart-stopping Tri-Nations match at Jade Stadium in Christchurch. Wing Doug Howlett's try in the right-hand corner sealed the win and completed the comeback after his side had trailed 21-12 at the break. The match got off to a dramatic start with a try from South Africa's Jean de Villiers after just 23 seconds but the boot of Dan Carter brought the All Blacks back into the contest. No.8 Jacques Cronje then crossed for the visitors and scrum-half Fourie du Preez added another before half-time. Carter and Carlos Spencer continued to chip away at the Springboks' lead until Howeltt struck with the decisive score in the dying seconds of the game.
Wales and British & Irish Lions wing Dafydd James was born in Mufulira in Zambia. James made his international debut for Wales in 1996 and won 48 caps, his last coming at the 2007 Rugby World Cup. He also made three Test appearances for the British & Irish Lions during their tour to Australia in 2001 - scoring one of their four tries in their victory over the Wallabies in Brisbane. He also notched a long-time record of 29 tries in the Heineken Cup and enjoyed spells at Llanelli, Bridgend, Pontypridd, Harlequins, Scarlets, Cardiff Blues and Sale.
The Rugby Football Union confirmed that former England boss Brian Ashton would not be taking charge of the country's national academy. The RFU was widely criticised in the media for the way it handled Ashton's departure from the head coach role after his side followed up a World Cup final appearance in October 2007 with second place in the 2008 Six Nations Championship. Having previously been assured he could appoint his own team manager, Ashton was manoeuvred aside in the process which led to the appointment of Martin Johnson as England manager.
The Lions in South Africa were so beset by injuries to their backs that "Jammy" Clinch, the famous Irish flanker, was forced to start the match against Rhodesia as a makeshift fullback. He rose admirably to the occasion and the tourists registered a comfortable 16-3 win in Salisbury.
Lock Tiny Naudé's wide-angled penalty just before half-time won an exciting match for the Springboks against Canterbury, 6-5, there being no scoring after the interval.
Leicester wing Seru Rabeni was banned for nine weeks after admitting playing in three sevens tournaments while serving a 14-week suspension for eye-gouging.
The All Blacks found a vein of good form, winning their third tour match in a row with a 13-6 victory against Pretoria.
Phil Nel's Springboks opened a landmark tour of New Zealand with a convincing 19-5 win against Auckland before going on to take their first Test series on New Zealand soil.
The Lions fielded their Test XV to overcome a spirited challenge from the Auckland provincial side 19-12 in a match billed as the tourists' "fifth" Test.
For the fifth time in five tours New Zealand made a losing start to a rubber in South Africa, going down 16-7 at Durban.