Rugby World Cup: 'Hoodoo' only in New Zealand minds

By Michael Dickison

Wallabies fans. Photo / Getty Images
Wallabies fans. Photo / Getty Images

The Wallaby who scored four tries against the All Blacks at Eden Park says a hoodoo exists only in the minds of New Zealanders.

Number 8 Greg Cornelsen still holds the record for the most tries in a match against New Zealand, 33 years after he led the Wallabies in points in their historic 30-16 win.

Since that test, the Wallabies have won at Eden Park just once - 25 years ago. The team will return to the stadium this weekend for the World Cup semifinal against the All Blacks.

Can Australia win at Eden Park?

"Yeah, bloody hell, I'm sure they have a very, very good chance," Cornelsen said. "Everyone talks about the hoodoo, but it's just in the minds of New Zealanders. I don't think that's a factor at all. The boys are playing magnificently, and they're really hitting their stride at the right time."

The 1978 Eden Park match came at the end of a long tour of New Zealand by the Wallabies, during which the squad's coach, Daryl Haberecht, nearly died of a heart attack and the players were forced to coach themselves.

"The senior players ran themselves for four games and one test, and we weren't going to lose any of them. That was as determined as we were. We were very determined, and we played our best game at Eden Park, we had a mighty test," he said.

"It was special for us ... We were really fired up that day.

"And that was the starting act for our generation. We knew we could beat the All Blacks."

Today's team were showing as much passion as his squad had, Cornelsen said.

"The determination the boys played with last week was equal or better than anything I've ever seen before. They were absolutely magnificent. It was one of the great determined wins. It was just phenomenal."

The semifinal clash was shaping up to potentially be remembered among the all-time great matches, he said.

"I just think it's going to be one of the classic games of rugby."

- NZ Herald

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