Today in sports history: May 14 - Rugby celebrates 150th birthday in New Zealand

A photo of the 1879 Nelson rugby team.
A photo of the 1879 Nelson rugby team. Photo credit: NZ Rugby Museum

The COVID-19 pandemic has wiped out most live sport all around the globe, but history will never be erased.

While you contemplate streaming yet another Netflix drama or rewatching another replay of your favourite sporting moments, here are some stories that were making news in years past on May 14.


The first known rugby match in New Zealand takes place between Nelson College and the Nelson Rugby Football Club at the Botanics Sports Field in front of 200 spectators.

Nelson Rugby Football Club won the match 2-0. While this game was a milestone, nine years would pass before Canterbury became the first rugby union formed in New Zealand.


The British & Irish Lions open their tour of New Zealand with a 47-15 win over Wanganui at Spriggens Park.

The Lions would lose all four tests against the All Blacks, while also losing to Auckland and Canterbury during the 18-match tour. 

Gwynan Evans of the British & Irish Lions against West Coast.
Gwynan Evans of the British & Irish Lions against West Coast. Photo credit: Getty


Manchester United celebrate their 4-0 FA Cup final triumph over Chelsea at Wembley Stadium. 

Man United had already won the Premier League title and Eric Cantona's brace of goals, followed by one each from Mark Hughes and Brian McClair, ensured they became the fourth team in the 20th century to complete the domestic double.


Earvin 'Magic' Johnson announces his retirement from the NBA, after playing 32 regular season and four playoff games in his comeback. 

'Magic' Johnson.
'Magic' Johnson. Photo credit: Getty

Johnson, who played for the LA Lakers, had already retired four years earlier, after testing positive for HIV. 


Spain's Rafa Nadal beats Roger Federer in the final of the Rome Masters 6-7(0) 7-6(5) 6-4 2-6 7-6(5) over 5h 5m. 

The win took Nadal to 53 straight wins on clay, matching Guillermo Vilas' Open-era record. 

Nadal continued that dominant run to beat Federer in the French Open final.


The NZ Kiwis overtake Australia as the No. 1 rugby league nation, when the International Rugby League Federation announces the latest world rankings. 

The Kiwis celebrate after winning the 2014 Four Nations.
The Kiwis celebrate after winning the 2014 Four Nations. Photo credit: Photosport

The Kiwis propelled to the top ranking after three straight wins over the Aussies - twice in the 2014 Four Nations tournament, then in 2015 Anzac Test. 


1960 - Former Kiwi golfer, now commentator Frank Nobilo

1985 - Former Kiwis league winger Sam Perrett 

1987 - Springboks utility Francois Steyn

1989 - NFL tight-end Rob Gronkowski 

Newshub 12 months ago... 

Tiger Woods faces lawsuit after employee killed in fatal crash

Tiger Woods.
Tiger Woods. Photo credit: Reuters

Golf star Tiger Woods is being sued, after an employee at his restaurant was allegedly served too much alcohol and died in a car crash.

Nicholas Immesberger, 24, worked as a bartender at The Woods in Florida, which is owned by Woods and managed by girlfriend Erica Herman. His parents say their son was hired by Herman and knew Woods personally.

On December 10, Immesberger finished his shift, but stayed on drinking at the restaurant. A lawsuit alleges he was served to the point of "severe intoxication". 

He was then sent out to his car, which he crashed while driving home and died.

Autopsy results revealed his blood alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit.

Ultimately, both Woods and Herman were dropped from the suit.

"We’re all very sad that Nick passed away," Woods said, after news of the lawsuit became public. 

"It was a terrible night, a terrible ending, and we feel bad for him and his entire family. It's very sad."

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