16/12/1905 WALES 3 NEW ZEALAND 0 At Cardiff Arms Park.
New Zealand toured Britain for the first time in 1905 and won 27 straight matches before they met Wales for the first-ever battle between the two countries. At that time they also appeared to be the top two in world rugby.
Ireland-born Dave Gallaher skippered the All-Blacks and played as a rover, operating between backs and forwards, whilst the legendary Gwyn Nicholls led Wales from centre, and his men had an extra back in Cliff Pritchard with only seven forwards.
The match was memorable for the two 'tries' - one given to Wales and one denied to New Zealand. Indeed, it was difficult to know which was to be remembered most through the years to come. Oddly, both occurred at almost the same spot, but it was the 'Deans spot' that sparked the controversy.
Some of the Welsh players believed that New Zealand centre Bob Deans had scored and equally, some of his own men thought that he had not. Referee John Dallas ruled that he was short of the line and though some historians classed him as an old man in a long jacket, Dallas was in reality a 27-years-old Scotland international, who was much younger than both captains.
A 47,000 crowd saw the 'Little Master', scrum half Dicky Owen of Swansea, scheme the Wales try as his reverse pass found Pritchard who sent on to Rhys Gabe and on the ball went to Teddy Morgan of London Welsh on the wing. Morgan defeated both Duncan McGregor and George Gillett on his way to the corner and glory.
The All Blacks used a 2-3-2 scrum and upset the home forwards before setting up their best chance in the second half as Billy Wallace unloaded to Deans who was tackled by Gabe, who said afterwards, 'I thought he had scored. Then, I felt him wriggling forward and I pulled him back.'
Gallaher, who was to lose his life in the Great War, declared that the best side had won, while Nicholls commented, 'There was really nothing between the two teams. The real difference appeared to be that we took advantage of our only opportunity to score.'
Owen was later found to have displaced a cartilage in his chest, but stated, 'I was in agony and would have gone off the field if it had been any other match than this.'
Wales: B Winfield; W Llewellyn, G Nicholls (capt), R Gabe, E T Morgan; Cliff Pritchard, P Bush*, R Owen; D Jones, G Travers, J Hodges, C M Pritchard, W Joseph, AF Harding, J F Williams
Try: E T Morgan.
New Zealand: G Gillett; D McGregor, R Deans, W J Wallace; H Mynott, J Hunter, F Roberts, D Gallaher (capt); J O'Sullivan, G Tyler, S Casey, F Newton, F Glasgow, A McDonald, C Seeling.
Referee: J Dallas (Scotland).