October 20 down the years
Springboks win the World Cup
South African captain John Smit leads the celebrations following his side's victory over England, England v South Africa, Rugby World Cup final, Stade de France, October 20, 2007
John Smit lifts the 2007 Rugby World Cup © Getty Images

South Africa beat England 15-6 - five penalties to two - to win the sixth Rugby World Cup final. England's surprise march to the final put them within touching distance of becoming the first team to retain the Webb Ellis Cup, but they were undone by the metronomic boot of Percy Montgomery, who scored four penalties, and Frans Steyn's long-range kick. Jonny Wilkinson slotted two penalties for England, who also had a 'try' to Mark Cueto disallowed for a foot in touch. John Smit lifted the trophy for the Boks, having packed down at hooker alongside the great Os Du Randt, a survivor of South Africa's World Cup triumph in 1995.

Ireland skipper Keith Wood inspired his side to a 20-14 win against England with an early try in Dublin, depriving England of the Grand Slam. In a Six Nations season that is delayed owing to an outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease earlier in the year, Ireland spoiled England's party at Lansdowne Road with David Humphreys scoring three penalties and Ronan O'Gara two. Austin Healey scored a try in vain for England, who would have to wait until 2003 for their Grand Slam.

In the quarter-finals of the World Cup Australia beat Ireland 19-18 in Dublin thanks to a last-minute Michael Lynagh try, and New Zealand overcome a brave Canadian effort 29-13 in Lille. Lynagh pounced after wing David Campese had scored twice for the Wallabies, although Ireland had lead thanks to a try from Gordon Hamilton and the kicking of Ralph Keyes. For the Kiwis, John Timu scored twice and John Kirwan, Zinzan Brooke and Bernie McCahill also crossed.

South Africa defeated the touring South American Jaguars 32-15 at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.

A crowd of 54,000 at the Arms Park watched Cardiff test the Springboks before finally going down 11-9 thanks to a try from Chum Ochse scored seven minutes from time.

Don White, the recently-appointed England coach for their forthcoming game with South Africa, was reported on the injured list at St Cross Hospital in Rugby after suffering head, chest and leg injuries sustained in a car accident with an articulated lorry.

The London Welsh/Llanelli fixtures traditionally staged on the third Saturday in October (with a return at Stradey on Boxing Day) were regarded as unofficial Welsh trials during the glory days of the decade of the dragon. The Exiles, lead by John Taylor, won this nail-biter 10-9 through a last-minute Keith Hughes try. There were 13 Welsh internationals on the field and another two were capped later.

© Scrum.com

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