All Blacks v Wallabies: Five great Sydney clashes (+ videos)

When the All Blacks open their Rugby Championship campaign tomorrow night against Australia it will be the 12th time the sides have met at ANZ Stadium. Photo / Getty Images.
When the All Blacks open their Rugby Championship campaign tomorrow night against Australia it will be the 12th time the sides have met at ANZ Stadium. Photo / Getty Images.

When the All Blacks open their Rugby Championship campaign tomorrow night against Australia it will be the 12th time the sides have met at ANZ Stadium (formerly Stadium Australia).

And while the All Blacks have won their last two matches at the ground, their previous history has been more troublesome with five wins and six losses.

There is certainly something about the stadium - built for the 2000 Olympics - that unsettles the All Blacks , with memories of the dreadful 2003 World Cup semi final loss and the 19-34 hammering in 2008 etched sharply in the memories of All Blacks fans.

Yet there have also been some truly great performances at the ground, including 'The greatest game ever played' in 2000 and the 51-23 Tri Nations crushing of the Wallabies in 2003 - just a few months before the World Cup.

Here are our top five matches from ANZ Stadium (Stadium Australia).

All Blacks 39 v Australia 35 - 2000 Tri Nations/Bledisloe Cup at Stadium Australia

At Sydney's Stadium Australia, in front of a world record 110,000 people, the All Blacks met the Aussies in what many have called "the greatest game of Rugby ever played".

After just eight minutes the All Blacks were leading by an unbelievable 24 to 0.

Miraculously, the Wallabies came back and were leading 35 to 34 when, in the dying moments of the game, the great All Black winger Jonah Lomu scored the winning try.

Wallabies captain John Eales described it as the most amazing game of his career.

All Blacks 23 v Australia 22 - 2010 Tri Nations match at ANZ Stadium

The All Blacks collected their record 10th successive win against the Wallabies with a thrilling come-from-behind 23-22 victory.

Despite trailing 22-9 with 20 minutes to play the All Blacks rallied, and two late tries by Richie McCaw and Kieran Read saw the visitors home with minutes to spare.

All Blacks 19 v Australia 18 - 2009 Bledisloe Cup final at ANZ Stadium

Dan Carter's boot led the All Blacks to a one point victory in a tense and tough affair that featured only one try from Ma'a Nonu.

The match was a great example of just how tight the margins are in test rugby. It took just one mistake by Lachie turner - tackled by Issac Ross on his goal line - that made the difference as Carter nailed the resulting penalty to push the All Blacks ahead with just two minutes on the clock.

2003 World Cup semifinal at Telstra Stadium, Sydney - Australia 22 All Blacks 10

Lulled into a false sense of security following two comfortable Tri Nations victories earlier in the year, the All Blacks fell again to the Aussies in a World Cup.

The Wallabies simply dominated possession and then defended well, with the All Blacks not helping themselves by gifting the home team easy points - like the Stirling Mortlock intercept of a Carlos Spencer pass which was Australia's only try.

Spencer went some way to making amends by setting up a try for captain Reuben Thorne in the second half, but that was all the All Blacks could manage.

Elton Flatley landed six of his seven chances at goal. Cue national mourning and an end to the coaching reign of John Mitchell.

All Blacks 26 v Australia 29 - 2001 Tri Nations at Stadium Australia

Australia gave their retiring captain John Eales the perfect send-off with a last-gasp win over New Zealand to retain the Tri-Nations title.

Australian number eight Toutai Kefu piled over in the final minute and the try was converted to complete a pulsating 29-26 victory in Sydney in-front of 90,978 fans at Stadium Australia.


- HERALD ONLINE

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