Chris Rattue is a sports columnist for the New Zealand Herald.

How to break an All Black winning streak

Colin Meads makes a run shadowed by Springboks J Nel (left) and F Du Preez during the New Zealand rugby tour of South Africa 1970. Photo / Herald Archive
Colin Meads makes a run shadowed by Springboks J Nel (left) and F Du Preez during the New Zealand rugby tour of South Africa 1970. Photo / Herald Archive

The All Blacks have had several lengthy winning streaks, but all good things come to an end. Chris Rattue details how the previous winning runs were grounded.

Streak of 17 wins ends

South Africa 17, New Zealand 6. Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria, July 25, 1970.
(Started on 18 September 1965 v South Africa, Auckland)

Goodbye to the golden era of the 1960s. Hello to more troubled times the 1970s. The All Blacks' last test loss had been to the Springboks in 1965.

They went into this test without Colin Meads, still sidelined by a broken arm, and weren't helped by Fergie McCormick's poor goalkicking. There was a wonderful try from Bryan Williams on debut.

Images of the test are dominated by a brilliant photo showing the famed 'Bok forward Frik du Preez - among a handful of Springbok survivors from the 1965 series defeat in New Zealand - delivering a clenched fist to the back of Chris Laidlaw's head. A Sid Nomis intercept try, from a wayward Brian Lochore pass, sealed the deal.

This series would be lost, and the careers of two legendary forwards, Meads and Lochore were close to the end. It would be another 26 years and a lot of turbulent water under the bridge before the All Blacks triumphed for the first time in South Africa.

New Zealand 12, Australia 12. Olympic Stadium, Sydney, August 16, 2014.
(Started 8 June 2013 v France, Auckland, 23-13)

With what's going on at the moment, it's hard to believe the All Blacks were involved in a tryless test just two years ago. The weather didn't help, but four penalties apiece seems like something out of the dark ages. Aaron Cruden did the job for the All Blacks, while Kurtley Beale - a surprise choice ahead of Bernard Foley in some eyes - landed the goals for the Wallabies.

The All Blacks were regarded as fortunate to escape with the draw, particularly as the ridiculously young Wallaby captain Michael Hooper (aged 22) turned down shots at goal, decisions which came in for criticism. The under-pressure All Blacks also had to survive a self-inflicted disadvantage, Wyatt Crockett and Beauden Barrett being sinbinned.

This was seen as a sign of a resurgence for Ewen McKenzie's Wallabies. Both teams were on a march towards the 2015 World Cup final, but it was a trek that McKenzie did not survive. All Black rugby has hardly looked back, while Australia must look at this game with a sense of longing considering where they are right now.

Israel Folau attempts to break the All Blacks defence. Photo / Getty
Israel Folau attempts to break the All Blacks defence. Photo / Getty

Streak of 16 wins ends

New Zealand 18, Australia 18. Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, October 20, 2012.
(Started on 9 September 2011 v Tonga, Auckland, 41-10)

The All Blacks were expected to win well but how wrong the pundits were.

A last gasp Dan Carter drop goal attempt missed the mark in another tryless match. Carter had landed six penalties, while Kiwi Mike Harris and Kurtley Beale did the job for the Aussies. The home side had also squandered a late victory chance, being penalised while on attack.

Loose forward Scott Higginbotham epitomised the Aussie belligerence, although he went a bit far with a head butt while grappling with Richie McCaw.

McCaw in turn broke new ground, ordering a scrum from a penalty on the All Blacks 22 in an effort to set up a victory. They came very close, but Carter could not seal the deal.

Neither side was particularly pleased with the result, with Steve Hansen describing it as probably the ugliest game he had been involved in. Robbie Deans, who had a fractious relationship with Hansen when they coached the Crusaders, was frustrated not to have caused a giant upset.

Both sides dejected by the draw. Photo / Getty
Both sides dejected by the draw. Photo / Getty

Streak of 15 wins ends

Australia 26, New Zealand 24, Hong Kong October 30, 2010.
(Started 19 September 2009 v Australia, Wellington, 33-6)

A wonderful test match with the little Wallaby James O'Connor, who was just 20, levelling the scores with a try and then landing the winning conversion from near the right hand touchline.

Has an All Black ever been derided the way Stephen Donald was after this match? He replaced Dan Carter as the All Blacks led 24 - 12 with 20 minutes remaining. He missed a match sealing penalty chance and clearing kick for touch which enabled the Wallabies to launch their final winning attack. In many quarters, he was never to be forgiven, but lived to tell a very different story with his 2011 World Cup final penalty at Eden Park.

Ironically, O'Connor's career path was to go in a different direction, but this is a match he will never forget. The Australians were seeking to end a 10-match losing run against the All Blacks, and O'Connor had to take over the goalkicking after Kurtley Beale and Matt Giteau had struggled from the tee.

This was sporting drama of the highest order with an edge. Quade Cooper gave Richie McCaw a shove and a gob-full after the O'Connor try. And the Wallaby hero was mobbed by team mates after his winning goal.

Australia go wild after their Hong Kong victory. Photo / Getty
Australia go wild after their Hong Kong victory. Photo / Getty

South Africa 21, New Zealand 20, Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg, September 2, 2006
(Started 13 August 2005 v Australia, Sydney, 30 - 13)

Just a week prior, the All Blacks had smashed South Africa by 19 points in Pretoria.

The venue was a new one for both the Springboks and All Blacks, in what would become an historic stadium for New Zealand sport. Just four years later, Ryan Nelsen's All Whites would claim their first World Cup finals point when Winston Reid's injury time header gave them a shock draw against Slovakia.

The All Blacks were also headed there. When Rodney So'oialo was penalised at a ruck, Andre Pretorius landed the winning goal with two minutes remaining giving Richie McCaw his first taste of defeat in 10 games as captain.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW
Stats provided by

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 25 May 2017 16:32:14 Processing Time: 530ms