Five great Australia-New Zealand sporting clashes


AUCKLAND: World Cup co-hosts and title contenders New Zealand and Australia meet at Auckland’s Eden Park on Saturday in one of the most highly anticipated matches of the tournament.

But it’s not just in cricket that the trans-Tasman rivals have enjoyed some notable matches.

Below AFP Sport picks out five of the most memorable of all Australia-New Zealand sports clashes.


1974 Christchurch: New Zealand beat Australia by five wickets

For nearly 30 years, New Zealand were simply ignored by Australia, who didn’t consider them worthy opponents.

That changed in the 1970s and most specifically in 1974 when, with star batsman Glenn Turner making a hundred in each innings, New Zealand recorded their maiden Test victory over Australia with a five-wicket win at Christchurch’s Lancaster Park.
1981, Melbourne: Australia beat New Zealand by six runs

The scoreline may not jog many memories but the word ‘underarm’ will surely will.

What might have been a forgettable third final of the one-day series produced one of the most controversial finishes of all-time when, with New Zealand needing six to tie off the last ball, Australia captain Greg Chappell instructed younger brother Trevor to role the ball underarm along the ground.

Angry New Zealand tailender Brian McKechnie, who was on strike, threw his bat away in disgust and Greg Chappell’s decision brought forth a torrent of criticism.

New Zealand’s then Prime Minister, Robert Muldoon, said the delivery was “an act of true cowardice and I consider it appropriate that the Australian team were wearing yellow”.

Meanwhile former Australia captain Ian Chappell, Greg and Ian’s older brother, said: “Fair dinkum, Greg. How much pride do you sacrifice to win $A35,000?”


1978, Eden Park, Auckland: New Zealand 16 Australia 30

The series had been decided by the time of this match, the third Test, with New Zealand 2-0 up.

But Australia turned the form book upside down with No 8 Greg Cornelsen scoring four tries — an individual match record against the All Blacks — with Wallaby flanker Gary Pearse grabbing the team’s fifth.

In a 25-Test career they were Cornelsen’s only tries but his Eden Park haul guaranteed him sporting immortality.

2000, Olympic Stadium, Sydney: Australia 35 New Zealand 39

The All Blacks were threatening a rout at 24-0 up in eight minutes in front of a crowd of just under 110,000.

Yet by half-time, a thrilling contest was all square at 24-24.

When New Zealand-born hooker Jeremy Paul scored for the Wallabies six minutes from time to make it 35-34 to Australia, a remarkable comeback win was on the cards.

But, with time up, New Zealand’s Taine Randell flung the ball to Jonah Lomu and the powerhouse wing shrugged off Stephen Larkham 20 metres out before tip-toeing down the line to score the 10th and final try of a stunning match.


2010, Delhi: New Zealand 66 Australia 64

Australia and New Zealand have long been the world’s pre-eminent netball nations and have enjoyed several thrilling clashes at the climax of major events.

The 2010 Commonwealth Games final was no exception.

New Zealand had a seven-goal lead midway through the final quarter but the full-time whistle blew with the scores level at 47-47 after both New Zealand’s Irene van Dyk and Australia’s Catherine Cox had missed chances to win the game.

Double overtime and then ‘sudden death’ followed, with Maria Tutaia the star for New Zealand as she landed her final seven shots at goal late on- AFP