Today in sports history: May 22 - All Blacks open inaugural Rugby World Cup with win

Joe Stanley in action for the All Blacks at 1987 World Cup.
Joe Stanley in action for the All Blacks at 1987 World Cup.

Some of the sports stories of the past that led headlines around the world on May 22.


The inaugural Rugby World Cup kicks off in New Zealand, with the All Blacks beating Italy 70-6 at Eden Park.

John Kirwan scored a sensational 70-metre solo try, regarded as one of the game's greatest ever, and added a second. Captain David Kirk and Craig Green also scored braces, with the first try of the game coming from a penalty try. 

The All Blacks would go on to win the tournament, beating France in the decider.


Sir Peter Blake leads Steinlager 2 to victory in the fifth edition of the Round-the-World Ocean Race.

The Blake-skippered campaign won every leg, holding off the Grant Dalton-helmed Fisher & Paykel.

Sir Peter Blake.
Sir Peter Blake. Photo credit: Getty

Overall, the winners took 128d 9h from when they first started on September 2, 1989.


Scheduled to enter the NBA as an expansion franchise in 1995/96, Toronto unveil the 'Raptors' as the team's nickname.

The Toronto Raptors celebrate winning the NBA championship.
The Toronto Raptors celebrate winning the NBA championship. Photo credit: Getty

The Raptors would go on to win their first NBA title in the 2018/19 season.


The Brumbies win their second Super Rugby title, beating the Crusaders 47-38 in the final.

The Brumbies celebrate winning the Super 12 title.
The Brumbies celebrate winning the Super 12 title. Photo credit: Getty

The Canberra-based side got revenge for losing to the Crusaders earlier in the season, with utility Mark Gerrard scoring a hat-trick.


Golden State Warriors defeat San Antonio Spurs 129-115 in the NBA Western Conference Finals for a 4-0 series win.

Stephen Curry.
Stephen Curry. Photo credit: Getty

The Warriors then beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 4-1 to win the NBA championship. Their 16–1 record is the best winning percentage (.941) in NBA playoff history.


1927 - Former Blackcaps wicketkeeper Eric Petrie

1946 - Manchester United football legend George Best

1981 - WWE star Daniel Bryan 

1986 - New England Patriots NFL receiver Julian Edelman 

1987 - Serbian tennis ace Novak Djokovic 


1994 - NZ Olympic walking gold medalist Norman Read, aged 62

2017 - Former MotoGP champion Nicky Hayden, aged 35

Newshub 12 months ago...

Russian Yaroslav Radashkevich horrifically snaps leg during squat attempt

Russian Yaroslav Radashkevich will be sidelined for a while - perhaps permanently - after suffering a gruesome leg injury during the Eurasian powerlifting championships.

Radashkevich was attempting a 250kg squat, when his leg buckled beneath him, snapping his tibia (lower leg) in the process.

Yaroslav Radashkevich attempts a squat
Yaroslav Radashkevich attempts a squat. Photo credit: Youtube/Instagram

The sound of the break reverberated throughout the auditorium, amid cries of horror from onlookers.

Radashkevich had reportedly suffered from shin splints in the build-up to the competition.

Two months ago, Radashkevich reported his leg had healed completely - "Now many roads are open to me again!"