Today in sports history: May 27 - Jonah Lomu unleashed

Jonah Lomu in action against Ireland in 1995
Jonah Lomu in action against Ireland in 1995 Photo credit: Getty

Some of the stories of the past that led sporting headlines around the world on May 27.


The All Blacks unleash Jonah Lomu in their Rugby World Cup opener, with the giant winger scoring two tries in a convincing 43-19 win over Ireland in Johannesburg. 

Daily Express writer Tony Bodley was glowing in his praise of the teenage star, who would become rugby's biggest name by the end of the tournament.

"At 19 stones, he is heavier than George Foreman. His hand-off has the power of a Mike Tyson uppercut and he can sprint almost as fast as Linford Christie. 

"No wonder, then, that when Jonah Lomu runs down the wing, players bounce off him as bullets do off Robocop."

Days later, it emerged Lomu had turned down NZ$1m for a rugby league switch to Wigan, along with rumours of an approach by the NFL's Dallas Cowboys.


Crusaders players celebrate victory
Crusaders players celebrate victory Photo credit: Getty

The Crusaders claim their third consecutive Super Rugby title, winning a hard-fought 20-19 final over ACT Brumbies in Canberra.

Many regard the result as the greatest final win in Crusaders' history, dispatching a shadow Wallabies side that had conquered the world a few months earlier at the Rugby World Cup.

All Blacks playmaker Andrew Mehrtens kicked five penalties for the champions.


Newcastle Knights legend Andrew Johns turns down a multi-million dollar deal with the Waratahs in Super Rugby.

'Joey' signed a five-year deal with the Knights for far less money, but with the promise of a broadcasting career once his onfield exploits concluded. 

Johns has since said Australian Rugby's unwillingness to involve itself in the deal was a deciding factor, as he still held out ambitions to play international rugby. 

Johns retired in 2007, after specialists advised him he may never walk again, if he suffered another serious blow to his neck.


South Africa's hopes of a Tri-Nations Grand Slam are foiled at the last hurdle, when the All Blacks win a tight 31-27 contest in Dunedin.

A win or draw for South Africa would have given them the southern hemisphere crown, but in a thrilling encounter that saw the lead change hands five times, a try from All Blacks hooker Keven Mealamu in the dying minutes proved the matchwinner.

New Zealand wrapped up the Tri-Nations title with a 34-24 victory over Australia in Auckland a week later.


1912 - American golf great Sam Snead
1955 - Former NZ cricketer Graham 'Jock' Edwards

Paul Gascoigne
Paul Gascoigne Photo credit: Getty

1967 - Former England football star Paul Gascoigne
1975 - Former Australian 'Mr Cricket' Mike Hussey 

1991 - All Blacks star Beauden Barrett 


2019 - Former Boston Red Sox first baseman, Bill Buckner, age 69

Newshub 12 months ago… 

Roy Krishna departs Wellington Phoenixl

Roy Krishna’s future will not be at the Wellington Phoenix, with the club announcing his departure on Monday.

The 2018/19 Golden Boot winner has been linked to at least three A-League clubs, including the Nix, but he has repeatedly stated in recent weeks that he will do what’s best for his family.

And that won't be in Australia with the Fijian international confirming he would have remained at the club, if he kept playing in the A-League.

"After much thought and consideration and consultation with my family back in Fiji, we have decided to move on from the A-League to secure a future outside of the league," Krishna said in a statement.