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August 18 down the years
Pumas make their mark
South Africa's Adriaan Strauss on the charge, South Africa v Argentina, The Rugby Championship, Newlands, Cape Town, South Africa, August 18, 2012
South Africa's Adriaan Strauss breaks the Pumas' defence © PA Photos

Argentina made history by playing their first Rugby Championship game. The Pumas were welcomed into the expanded competition - which replaced the Tri-Nations - by South Africa, who ran out 27-6 victors at Newlands in Cape Town. Zane Kirchner, Marcell Coetzee and Bryan Habana scored tries for the hosts, who lost hooker Bismarck du Plessis to a serious knee injury in the opening minutes. Earlier in the day, New Zealand beat Australia 27-19 in Sydney thanks to tries from Israel Dagg and Cory Jane.

Don Clarke made his Test debut for New Zealand, kicking a conversion and two penalties to propel the home side to a 17-10 victory that put the All Blacks 2-1 up in their series against South Africa.

The game took place at Lancaster Park, Christchurch and was the first of 31 Tests for the man who gained the nickname "The Boot" due to his phenomenal kicking ability, scoring 781 points for his country.

Australia and South Africa drew for the first time in 47 Tests. The Springboks survived the second half sin-binnings of Butch James and Bobby Skinstad and a late Stephen Larkham drop goal attempt to clinch a tie at the Subiaco Oval in Perth.

South Africa beat New Zealand 11-6 to go two-one ahead in its four-match series with the All Blacks at the Crusader Ground at Port Elizabeth. The series was the first between the two great rivals on South African soil and they tied over all as the All Blacks won the "Umbrella Test" at a wet Newlands on September 1st.

Australia's 21-9 win against the All Blacks in Wellington brought an end to New Zealand's world record unbeaten run of 23 Tests. A strong second half saw the Wallabies recover from a 9-6 half time deficit against the World Champions with Phil Kearns grabbing a try and Michael Lynagh scoring 17 points in front of 38,000 fans.

The Lions crashed to a 19-16 defeat against Eastern Transvaal in Springs, suffering only their second non-Test defeat in the penultimate match of the tour. Wally Labuschagne scored two tries for the hosts who came back from a 13-8 half time deficit to claim a famous victory in front of 25,000 spectators.

Wing Jim Boyce set a new record for a Wallaby on tour, scoring six tries in Australia's 43-0 rout of Wairarapa at Masterton.


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