Crusaders end Blues' Super 12 dominance
Crusaders captain Todd Blackadder lifts the Super 12 trophy on this day in 1998
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There was a new name on the Super 12 Trophy when Auckland Blues, winners of the first two tournaments, were beaten 20-13 by the Canterbury Crusaders in the Grand Final at Eden Park. A try by James Kerr three minutes from full-time handed the Crusaders a remarkable victory over the Blues in the final, to claim their first title. The win was the Crusaders' ninth in a row for the season, and represents the Blues' first ever loss at Eden Park.
For the first time England awarded caps for a match against a nation outside the Big Eight. On tour in Argentina, Bill Beaumont's team drew 19-19 with the Pumas. The following week England won the second meeting 12-6 but the sides did not meet again for nine years due to the war in the Falklands.
Wales beat South Africa 8-5 in an historic first-ever women's Test in South Africa. The home side scored first when left-wing Ronwyn Kelly ran half the length of the field to score a try close to the posts. Though the try was not converted the winger had fixed her place in the history of women's rugby in South Africa. Wales levelled the score when hooker Jenny Davies scored in the corner before Stacey Saunders landed the killer blow with a second-half penalty.
In only their third tour match, the Anglo-Welsh team fell to their second defeat of their visit to New Zealand, losing 9-6 to Otago at Carisbrook.
New Zealand played their first match on South African soil. On their inaugural tour of the High Veldt the All Blacks beat Western Province Country XV 11-3 in Cape Town.
Ronnie Dawson's Lions fell to their first tour defeat, beaten 18-14 by New South Wales at the Sydney Sports Ground.
New Zealand winger Rod Heeps set an international tour record scoring eight tries for the All Blacks in a 103-0 victory over Northern New South Wales in Quirindi.
Wales get their tour of South Africa back on the road after two heavy defeats. Playing their best football of the visit, the Welsh beat Orange Free State 14-6, winger Dewi Bebb inspired them with a brace of tries.