Great All Black Moments

In part two of five-part Rugby World Cup special series, the  Herald looks at great All Black moments
Sean Fitzpatrick celebrates after the 1996 All Blacks won a historic series in South Africa. Photo / Dave Rogers/Allsport
Sean Fitzpatrick celebrates after the 1996 All Blacks won a historic series in South Africa. Photo / Dave Rogers/Allsport

In part two of a five-part World Cup series, the Herald looks at dozens of the great All Black moments that have been burned into the memory.

But what's the greatest moment of them all? Is it David Kirk holding up the Webb Ellis Cup following the 1987 final or does the absence of Springboks from the tournament detract from the achievement.

Or has that moment grown in importance and to the top of the list because of disappointments at subsequent World Cups? And what's more memorable - an All Black win at the Cup or a shock defeat. Honourable in the case of the loss to the Springboks in the epic 1995 World Cup final, or shocking in the capitulation to France in 1999?

So the great moments involving the All Blacks aren't always the most enjoyable for their fans.

How about the series wins? Is the greatest All Black moment of all that afternoon in Pretoria in 1996 when Sean Fitzpatrick's side won a series for the first time in South Africa after nearly 70 years of trying? Or was it beating the Springboks here in New Zealand after the country went on to a war footing in 1956?

What about the tries? Does Peter Jones' effort to cap off that series win in 1956 outrank Ian Kirkpatrick scoring one of the greatest forward tries against the Lions in 1971 or is the best Jonah Lomu running over England's Mike Catt - and in doing so helping change the course of rugby. He scored many better tries - his best perhaps against Australia later that year - but are any as memorable as the one that had commentator Keith Quinn gasping for words?

John Kirwan was in stunning form during the 1987 World Cup but what was his best try? The length-of-the-field try against a weak Italy in the opener at a half-full Eden Park or his finishing off a superb team effort to seal victory over France in the final?

The moments of infamy live long in the memory. What's the most deeply-etched? Colin Meads sent off against Scotland in 1967, Keith Murdoch's sending home from the All Blacks after a dust-up at the Angel Hotel in 1972 or the lineout shenanigans against Wales six years later which poured more fuel on to the Welsh-New Zealand feud?

Plenty of questions but the accompanying list offers some answers from the Herald's rugby experts.

OUR TOP 10

1 - All Blacks' first series win against the Springboks on South African soil, 1996.
2 - Winning the inaugural Rugby World Cup 1987, still the only one.
3 - The epic World Cup final in 1995 in South Africa, a loss but on rugby's biggest stage.
4 - The 1978 Grand Slam by Graham Mourie's All Blacks, success at the eighth attempt.
5 - Jonah Lomu running over England's Mike Catt in World Cup semifinal, 1995.
6 - Ian Kirkpatrick swatting off the Lions to score at Lancaster Park in 1971.
7 - Keith Murdoch being sent home from the 1972-73 tour of Britain after a fracas in Cardiff.
8 - Allan Hewson kicking the winner in the flour bomb test against the Boks in 1981.
9 - Peter Jones scoring to seal the first ever series win against the Springboks in 1956.
10 - Lomu (again) scoring against Australia in Sydney in 2000 during an omnipotent display.

Rank your top moments.

Part One - 20 Great All Blacks

- NZ Herald

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