September 23 down the years
All Blacks ease past Scotland
New Zealand's Dan Carter is tackled by the Scotland defence, Scotland v New Zealand, Rugby World Cup, Murrayfield, Scotland, September 23, 2007
New Zealand's Dan Carter scored a try against Scotland on this day in 2007 © Getty Images

New Zealand racked up 20 points in each half to record a comprehensive 40-0 victory over Scotland in a Rugby World Cup Pool C clash at Murrayfield. The dour spectacle that unfolded in front of almost 65,000 fans in Edinburgh was a sharp contrast to the controversy that had surrounded the game during the build-up, where Scotland coach Frank Hadden elected to rest several front-line players ahead of their showdown with Italy. The All Blacks cruised to victory after tries from Dan Carter, Byron Kelleher, Richie McCaw, Ali Williams and a brace from Doug Howlett.

A Coventry v Sale match was cancelled after the coach carrying the Sale team crashed through a hedge at Aldridge on its way to Coventry's Coundon Road ground. Sale captain John Lansbury, a medical doctor, administered first-aid on the spot to two of his players and later accompanied them to hospital.

As the world of rugby and celebrity collided, Will Carling was all over the papers after being photographed meeting Princess Diana in a west London sports clinic. The News of the World reported she left after 30 minutes looking "grim and unhappy".

While club rugby in England continued, albeit on a much reduced level and with many players already in the armed forces, the Welsh RFU issued a statement announcing the cessation of matches for the duration of the war.

Jonny Wilkinson captained Newcastle for the first time, kicking 17 points in a 22-18 Premiership victory over the previously unbeaten London Irish.

Fullback Fergie McCormick kicked 14 points for Canterbury in their win against West Coast at Greymouth to take his first-class tally to 1,863 points and overtake the previous New Zealand first-class career record held by Waikato and New Zealand fullback Don Clarke.

England fullback Dusty Hare had one of his darker days with the boot. The Leicester goal-kicker succeeded with only three kicks at goal from eight attempts in a 21-9 defeat by Harlequins in a stop-start match.

Northampton, on their way to promotion to Courage League One, lost 15-3 away to Headingley - their only league defeat of the season.

The United States defeated Japan 25-15 in a one-off Test in Tokyo, fly-half Chris O'Brien kicking three penalty goals and converting two of the Eagles' three tries.


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