History lesson: The Anzac test

Manu Vatuvei (L), Adam Blair and Stacey Jones perform the Haka. Photo / Getty Images.
Manu Vatuvei (L), Adam Blair and Stacey Jones perform the Haka. Photo / Getty Images.

The Kiwis are staring down the barrel of their 12th consecutive Anzac Test loss when they face Australia in Canberra on Friday night.

But despite this sobering statistic there may be a shred of hope for the optimistic Kiwi - the last three games have been kind-of close.

If that doesn't get the blood pumping, New Zealanders could get worked up complaining about the un-level playing field. Only two of the 13 Anzac Tests have been played in New Zealand, and the Kiwis won one of them.

Nzherald.co.nz takes you through a history lesson of the top ten facts that you need to know about the Anzac Test .

* The Kiwis have only managed one win from the 13 tests, a 22-16 victory at North Harbour Stadium in 1998.

This match marked the debut of Aussie great Darren Lockyer, one of only eight losses in his 59 match international career.

Kiwis: Ridge, Hoppe, Blackmore, Wiki, Barnett, Paul, Jones, Lomax, Paul, Pongia, McCracken, Iro, Swann, Vagana, Hermansson, Iro, Vagana.

Aus: O'Davis, Sailor, Renouf, Hill, Rogers, Daly, Johns, Harragon, Toovey, Howe, Menzies, Thorn, Fittler, Lazarus, Lockyer, Kosef, Pay.

* In the last three years the Kiwis have lost by eight points (20-12, 2012), ten points (20-10, 2011) and four points (12-8, 2010).

* The most points the Kiwis have scored in the fixture was in the opening game in 1997, when they lost 34-22.

* Australia's biggest win in the test came in 2000, when they thumped the Kiwis 52-0.

Following the match, Kiwis coach Daniel Anderson claimed the match was an ambush, noting that the Kiwis - due to their clubs - did not have a proper training session together, while the Aussies had four.

"I am saying to my board do not play them in the middle of the year. It's an ambush. If they keep playing in July it's a waste of time," said Anderson.

"It's got to be at the start of the season or end of the season, pre-season or post-season. New Zealand have got to set agendas for themselves. "

Kiwis: Barnett, Nigel Vagana, Blackmore, Paul, Vainikolo, Paul, Jones, Joe Vagana, Swain, Smith, Rua, Kearney, Smith, Puletua, Lowrie, Kidwell, Lavea.

Aus: Lockyer, Rogers, Girdler, Timmins, Sailor, Fittler, Kimmorley, Webcke, Hetherington, Howe, Tallis, Fletcher, Smith, Stevens, Kearns,

* The Anzac test was introduced by Super League Australia in 1997.

* The Test was dropped from the annual schedule in 2001 - after the Aussies thrashed the Kiwis 56-0 the previous year - when complaints about the fixtures proximity to the State of Origin series contributed to Australia's withdrawal.

* After being dropped from 2001-2003 - when a mid-July fixture was preferred - the Anzac test was revived in 2004 as the Bundaberg Rum Test.

* The Anzac test was known as the Bundaberg Rum test from 2004-2008 and the VB test in 2009 for sponsorship reasons.

* In 2007, New Zealand Rugby League announced they would scrap the test after 2008, citing difficulties putting their best team together at that time of year.

* After winning the Rugby League World Cup in 2008 New Zealand introduced a new international schedule and decided to revive the fixture in 2009.

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