September 18 down the years
When in Rome ...
Ali Hogg grabs a hat-trick in Scotland's win over Romania at RWC 2007
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An evening's drinking went wrong for five Swansea players in Rome following a match against an Italian XV. After being reprimanded by local police at 2am for breaking a glass, a fight broke out which involved up to 30 youths and which was only broken up when nine police cars arrived on the scene. Three policemen and several locals were treated in hospital and the Swansea players, including captain John Roberts, were arrested for brawling and assaulting the police. They missed the game which Swansea won 18-12.
The All Blacks wrested the unofficial world crown off the Springboks with a 20-3 win in Auckland to secure a 3-1 victory in the four-Test series. They won the opening two matches of the series 6-3 at Wellington and 13-0 at Carisbrook before the 'Boks gave themselves a chance of a drawn series with a 19-16 victory in Christchurch - but the hosts took the spoils in the final game with Ian "Spooky" Smith scoring two tries and Ken Gray, Dick Conway and Bill Birtwistle crossing for one each. .
The touring Springboks closed in on 400 points for their tour of New Zealand with a convincing 33-3 win against Poverty Bay/East Coast at Gisborne. With two matches remaining the win gave them a total of 380 points from 15 games, an average of 25 a match.
Australia began the journey that ultimately led to a Rugby World Cup title, defeating Fiji 66-20 in a qualifying match in Sydney. The Wallabies topped the group unbeaten while Fiji joined them in second place with Western Samoa beating Tonga to the third spot. Irish referee Alan Lewis made his international debut with the whistle at the game.
The great Hawke's Bay team defeated Canterbury 17-15 in Christchurch to log their 24th consecutive victory in defence of the Ranfurly Shield, establishing a new record for successive defences.
Scotland defeated Romania 42-0 in one of the Rugby World Cup's more forgettable nights at Murrayfield. The Scots played two games on home soil, the other a defeat to the All Blacks, but they kept their campaign on track with a routine win as Allister Hogg grabbed a hat-trick and Chris Paterson scored 17 points.