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June 16 down the years
Wales and Ireland flattened by last-second kicks
Delight for Australia's Mike Harris, Australia v Wales, Dockland's Stadium, Melbourne, Australia, June 16, 2012
Delight for Australia's Mike Harris after his match-winning kick © Getty Images

Australia won the 2nd Test against Wales 25-23 - and with it the three-Test series - but it took a penalty from Mike Harris with the last kick of the game to secure the win. It was a cracking match where the lead swapped nine times and Wales looked likely to hold on until Rhys Priestland kicked the ball away, a penalty to touch and a driving lineout followed and another penalty handed the result to the hosts. "It is always horrible to go the distance and find one mistake leads to a penalty like that," said George North. "Fair play to him he had some bottle to slot that kick."

New Zealand also left it desperately late to beat Ireland 22-19, Dan Carter's drop-goal with the final play of the match snatching victory in Christchurch, despite being down to 14 men after Israel Dagg was sin-binned for a horrible challenge on Rob Kearney.

David Duckham scored six tries inside the first 47 minutes to set an individual record for the Lions during their 39-6 thrashing of West Coast at Greymouth in the eighth match of their tour of New Zealand. He shares the record with JJ Williams. Bob Hiller added a try and seven kicks.

South Africa beat England 36-27 at Ellis Park, resisting a comeback after England had trailed 22-3 following a dreadful start. Stuart Lancaster identified "nervous tension" which paralysed his team during the first 20 minutes. "We were hanging on by our fingernails and showed tremendous character to get back."

The Lions in South Africa crashed to their first tour defeat. A big Northern Transvaal pack was too strong for the tourists who, losing 14-6, saw Richard Sharp their fly-half leave the field with a fractured cheek-bone sustained in a crash-tackle from Francois 'Mannetjies' Roux. Roux was a South African fighter pilot renowned for being a reckless tackler.

John Kirwan made his New Zealand Test debut in the All Blacks' narrow 10-9 win over France in Christchurch. France could have won the game but their fly-half Jean-Patrick Lescarboura missed four drop-goal attempts in the last ten minutes.

Two late drop goals by Francois Steyn handed South Africa a tense 22-19 Tri-Nations victory against Australia at Cape Town. Steyn slotted over both of his three-pointers in the last 10 minutes after coming on as a substitute, the first a monstrous 45-metre kick from the sideline to level the scores after the hosts had trailed 16-19 with six minutes remaining.

The first British tourists to Australia embarked on a 19-match, eight-week diversion to their rugby commitments, playing a series of games under Aussie Rules to help subsidise the tour. In the 20-a-side match against Carlton the inexperienced tourists were beaten by 14 goals and 17 behinds to three goals and eight behinds at the MCG.

Lourdes beat Toulon in the French Championship final in Toulouse. The match ended 9-9 after extra time, but Lourdes were declared winners on superior try count having scored two to Toulon's none. The match could not be rescheduled any later as the French national team were about to tour New Zealand and South Africa.

The Springboks ran in 13 tries (three by Freddie Turner) winning 63-0 against the Combined Western Districts at Orange in Australia. Their kicking fullback Gerry Brand kicked 11 goals.

Auckland made the Springboks struggle for a 6-3 win at Eden Park as back-rower Dawie Ackermann scored the two tries for the tourists.


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