The best one-sided rivalries

Michael Hooper of the Wallabies squares up to Brodie Retallick of the All Blacks during The Rugby Championship Bledisloe Cup match between the Wallabies and the All Blacks. Photo / Getty Images.
Michael Hooper of the Wallabies squares up to Brodie Retallick of the All Blacks during The Rugby Championship Bledisloe Cup match between the Wallabies and the All Blacks. Photo / Getty Images.

When the All Blacks beat the Wallabies last weekend for the 100th time in 147 matches, the rivalry crossed over from competitive, to one-sided.

With a 68% win rate across all matches, the All Blacks are now expected to win every clash, and anything less is met with a national enquiry.

And the news gets worse for the Wallabies. They have only won 16 times in 67 clashes on New Zealand soil and the last time they returned home with a win was 12 years ago when they won 23-15 in Dunedin.

But is it the most one-sided rivalry in sport? Nzherald.co.nz takes a look at five other match-ups vying for the title.

New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox
The Yankees have won 27 World Series titles, the Red Sox 7. That kind of says it all without saying a thing.

This rivalry is as much founded in myth and sensibility as it is results.

Boston and New York have always had an intense rivalry as cities. Boston was the cradle of American civilisation; New York was the brash upstart. Over the years, Boston's influence waned while New York metastasised into the epicentre of the western world.

The baseball has played to type. Boston were the kings early, by 1918 they had won five titles to the New Yorkers 0, but the fateful selling of their star pitcher, Babe Ruth, to the pinstriped Yankees would change everything.

The next 86 years - The Curse of the Bambino [Ruth] Years - belonged to the Yankees. Ruth, now the greatest slugger the game had ever seen, led a Murderer's Row of hitters and the Yanks racked up World Series after Series.

By 2004, the Yankees had 26 titles, Boston still five.

The wild card playoff rule meant these two teams could now meet in the post-season. The Yankees came from nowhere to win Game 7 of the American League Championship Series in 2003 to extend the Curse and took a convincing 3-0 lead in 2004. Then everything changed. In four of the most dramatic playoff games in history, the Sox clawed back to win 4-3 and break the curse.

Overall, the figures are surprisingly close. Over 2121 games, New York has won 1145, Boston 960 with 14 no results.

State of Origin
In 2005 after New South Wales won their third straight Origin series it would have been fair to call this a close rivalry as it put both states on 12 series wins each - with two drawn series. Since then it's been all Queensland.

The Maroons have won eight straight taking their total of series wins to 20 and don't look like stopping that streak any time soon. From 1990 to 2005 there was a definite Blue tinge to the record books with the Cockroaches claiming 10 series in 16 years, and losing just four - but going on the last eight years you'd be pushed to call this a rivalry.

It's sad to think there are 10-year-old Blues fans out there who would never have seen their side claim a series. Here's hoping those kids don't support the Wallabies as well.

Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson
When they're both firing, nothing on the PGA Tour is bigger, more entertaining or downright exhilarating than the rivalry between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. But it has also been incredibly one-sided.

Woods and Mickelson will undoubtedly go down as the best players in their era. Both have established themselves as such by winning major championships, but Woods has blown the rivalry out of the water.

Woods has won nearly twice as many PGA Tour events and nine more major championships than Mickelson, who picked up his fifth major title with a win at the British Open last month.

Woods completed the "Tiger Slam" by winning the Masters in 2001 with Mickelson playing beside him in the final pairing. They lit up the front nine together on Sunday at the 2009 Masters, but Angel Cabrera won the green jacket.

Tiger got Phil at Doral (Fla.) in 2005. Phil got Tiger at the Deutsche Bank Championship two years later. Phil got Tiger at Pebble Beach in 2011. Overall though, Mickelson got thumped.

While Woods chases Nicklaus' record of 18 major championships, Mickelson is now chasing the career Grand Slam, needing to finally conquer the U.S. Open to do it.

Nadal and Federer
The two greatest players of all time? We'll save that debate for when they both retire but despite Roger Federer holding the record for grand slam wins with 17, it's fair to say Rafael Nadal has had his number for most of his career.

The pair have met 31 times all-time with the Spaniard leading 21-10. Nadal also holds a distinct edge at Grand Slams winning eight of their 10 matches, six of which have been in finals, with Federer winning two (Wimbledon 2006 and 2007) Nadal is 13-2 on clay while Federer only has the edge on indoor courts (4-0) and grass (2-1). Federer has appeared in 24 Grand Slam finals and six of his seven defeats were to Nadal with his only other loss coming to Juan Martin del Potro at the 2009 US Open.

Hawthorn and Geelong
Carlton and Collingwood is commonly regarded as the biggest rivalry in the AFL but in more recent times Hawthorn and Geelong has gone close to matching it thanks to the cockiness of former Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett.

Kennett famously said ahead of a 2009 clash with Geelong that the Cats didn't have the mental drive to defeat his club: "What they don't have, I think, is the quality of some of our players; they don't have the psychological drive we have. We've beaten Geelong when it matters." Geelong went on to win the round one clash followed by 10 straight victories since in a run now referred to as the 'Kennett curse'. Hawthorn almost broke the run earlier this season, at one point leading by 30 in the season opener before the Cats stormed back to take a seven point win. Geelong kept the streak going with a second win this season but the sides are set to clash again in the playoffs as they currently hold the top two spots in the competition.

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