All Blacks usher in Tri-Nations
New Zealand and Australia played the first ever Tri-Nations Test
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New Zealand gave a faultless first half display on their way to thrashing Australia 43-6 in the first ever Tri Nations Test in Wellington. The All Blacks gained a bonus point and wing Jonah Lomu scored one of six tries as they went on to win all four matches to claim the inaugural series.
Legendary Cardiff and Wales centre Bleddyn Williams died aged 86. Williams, christened 'the Prince of centres', won 22 caps for Wales and held the captain's armband when they last defeated the All Blacks in 1953, having already led Cardiff to victory over the same opponents weeks before. Alongside Dr. Jack Matthews he formed one of the great centre partnerships for Cardiff, Wales and the Lions. The Williams name became synonymous with Cardiff rugby and he was one of eight brothers to pull on the blue and black of the club. In 1950 Williams served as vice captain of the British & Irish Lions tour to Australia and New Zealand, playing 20 games on tour and captaining the side in two Tests against the All Blacks the absence of Irish hooker Karl Mullen.
Jimmy Giles, the Coventry and England scrum-half, was pressed into service as an emergency centre and goal-kicker for the Lions in South Africa, scoring three conversions in their 18-3 win against the Orange Free State Country at Loubser Park in Kroonstad. The four Lions' tries came from Haydn Tanner, Elvet Jones, George Cromey and Stan Couchman.
1983 Future All Blacks wing Joe Rokocoko was born in Nadi, Fiji. He often terrorises defences with his blistering speed and power and is one of the game's most lethal finishers. Rokocoko was an impressive youngster and set the world alight when he scored 24 tries in his first 16 appearances for the All Blacks, including three hat-tricks. The speedster broke the world record in 2003 for most tries in a calendar year when he scored 17 in 12 Test matches.
Mike Campbell-Lamerton's Lions were held to a 6-6 draw by Bay of Plenty and had to rely on two penalties from Scotland's Stewart Wilson for their points.
Steve Smith made his Lions debut while Clive Woodward filled a rare role as place-kicker, landing a late penalty in a 25-19 win against Hawkes Bay after first-choice kicker Dusty Hare went off with a shoulder injury. Both sides scored three tries each at McLean Park as the Lions trailed the Test series 3-0 with one to play.
Barry John went through the card of scoring actions to collect 21 points in the Lions' 27-6 win against NZ Universities in Wellington. He scored a brilliant solo try and broke the individual points scoring record for a player touring New Zealand. David Duckham and John Bevan scored the other two Lions tries at Athletic Park.
France registered the first win of their tour of New Zealand, triumphing 12-6 over Otago in Dunedin.