December 2 down the years
Murdoch scores and disappears
The 1972 New Zealand touring side, featuring prop Keith Murdoch in the far left of the back row.
© Getty Images
Prop Keith Murdoch scored New Zealand's only try in their 19-16 Test win against Wales in Cardiff. JPR Williams had one disallowed for Wales and Phil Bennett narrowly failed to level the scores with a long distance penalty in the dying moments of the match. Wales' winless streak against the All Blacks was by this point approaching 20 years and this narrow defeat was only one of two meetings between the sides during Wales' golden decade. Wing John Bevan scored the home side's try but they could not repeat Llanelli's feat of defeating the tourists. Murdoch was later that night involved in an incident involving a security guard at Cardiff's Angel Hotel and was sent home from the tour in disgrace, a decision thought to have been influenced by the Home Unions. Murdoch never returned to New Zealand - stepping off the plane in Australia and heading in to a self-imposed exile in the outback. Journalist Margot McRae 'found' Murdoch in 1990 while working on a TV show, and subsequently wrote a fictionalised account of her search in the play Finding Murdoch.
New Zealand lock Colin Meads was sent off by Irish referee Kevin Kelleher during the All Blacks' 14-3 Test win against Scotland at Murrayfield. Meads was given his marching orders for aiming a kick in the direction of Scotland's fly-half David Chisholm. It was only the second time that a player had been sent off in a Test, with Meads' compatriot Cyril Brownlie having been dismissed against England in 1925. The Daily Telegraph reported of the incident: "For one with Meads' world-wide reputation for robust play, this was rather like sending a burglar to prison for a parking offence."
The Original New Zealand All Blacks beat England 15-0 at Crystal Palace, with wing Duncan McGregor scoring four of their five unconverted tries.
Llanelli gave the Invincible All Blacks arguably the hardest match of their tour before losing 8-3 at Stradey Park. Pembrokeshire-born Ernie Finch scores the Scarlets' try with a brilliant solo effort from half-way but they became one of the 32 sides to fail to beat the tourists.
In their first War-time match Cardiff, led by Wilf Wooller, defeated Neath 8-0 at the Arms Park. Wooller and many of his players, it was reported, were with a Royal Artllery unit stationed at Penylan.
The Combined Services, preparing for their Boxing Day engagement with the All Blacks, gained a remarkable 18-9 victory over Cardiff - recent victors against the New Zealanders - at the Arms Park.