On This Day

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October 3 down the years
All Blacks edge out England
New Zealand's John Kirwan takes on the England defence, England v New Zealand, 1991 Rugby World Cup, Twickenham, England, October 3, 1991
New Zealand's John Kirwan takes on the England defence on this day in 1991 © Getty Images

New Zealand beat England 18-12 in the opening match of the second World Cup. Three penalties from England fullback Jonathan Webb and a drop goal from fly-half Rob Andrew gave the hosts a narrow 12-9 half-time lead with All Blacks No.10 Grant Fox weighing in with three penalties of his own. But a second half try from flanker Michael Jones and five more points from the boot of Fox carried the Kiwis to victory in front of 70,000 fans at Twickenham. England bounced back from the setback to reach the final where they were beaten by Australia who also accounted for New Zealand in the semi-finals.

Bennie Osler's Third Springboks opened their tour of Britain with a 14-3 victory against Gloucestershire/Somerset Combined at Bristol. The tourists went on to complete South Africa's second Grand Slam tour with victories over Wales (8-3 at St Helens), Ireland (8-3 at Lansdowne Road), England (7-0 at Twickenham) and Scotland (6-3 at Murrayfield). Osler's reliance on the boot was criticised both at home and abroad but his tactics were undeniably successful and he remained an enduring influence on a later generation of Springbok fly-halves.

Doug Prentice, captain of the 1930 Lions to Australia and New Zealand and secretary of the RFU since 1947, died in hospital aged 64 after a long illness. Capped three times by England between 1928-30, he had the honour of leading what is recognised as the first British Isles team. The tour included a total of 28 matches, seven in Australia and 21 in New Zealand. Of the 28 games, 24 were against club or invitational teams. The tourists lost their only Test clash with Australia and only claimed one victory in their four-Test series with New Zealand.

England fly-half Tom Brophy signed for Barrow RL club. The 24-year-old Rossall chemistry teacher was due to appear in the first England RU trial at the end of the week.

Keith Savage scored a try hat-trick for England in their 33-3 tour victory against Ontario in Toronto.

In a special four countries match to launch the RFU's Centenary England/Wales drew 14-all with Scotland/Ireland in perfect conditions at Twickenham. It was only the sixth such fixture since 1923.

During a "holiday" in France Welsh Grand Slam prop Denzil Williams turned out for Vichy in the French Championship Division One in their 26-4 loss to Pau.

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