New Zealand has plenty of big sporting rivalries, but none greater than with Australia. With the ICC Twenty 20 World Cup defeat still (painfully) fresh in the mind, Michael Burgess looks back at the top 10 transtasman sporting heartbreaks of the modern era.
10. All Blacks v Wallabies, second test, Wellington, 2000
"How about this for stepping up to the mark."
After three years, the Bledisloe Cup was coming back to New Zealand. Surely. In the first rugby test at the new Wellington stadium, the All Blacks led the Wallabies 23-21, deep in added time.
After winning a classic 39-35 in Sydney two weeks earlier, the cherished trophy seemed destined to return to these shores.
The Wallabies looked gone, stuck in their own territory with 83 minutes elapsed, but burgled an All Blacks lineout, before Stephen Larkham found touch just outside the opposition 22.
Australia anticipated Mark Hammett's short lineout option and claimed possession, before referee Johnathan Kaplan found a penalty three phases later.
John Eales informed Kaplan "we'll have a shot", before realising goal kicker Stirling Mortlock had been replaced. The Australia captain then stepped up, nailing the kick from a tricky angle five minutes into injury time.
That moment had enduring repercussions, as All Blacks coach Wayne Smith lost his job less than a year later after being swept 2-0 by Australia in 2001. The Wallabies held the Bledisloe Cup until 2003.
9. Kiwi ruled out of 1984 Melbourne Cup
At the time, this episode was compared to the underarm bowl incident and remains a great 'what might have been' moment in our sporting history.
Kiwi had won the Melbourne Cup in impossible fashion in 1983, coming from last at the 600m mark to mow down the field. With Jim Cassidy in the saddle, Kiwi stormed down the outside to win by a length and a half, the performance still regarded as the greatest finishing burst in Cup history.
The Snow Lupton trained gelding was a huge favourite the following year, aiming to become just the third horse to win back-to-back Melbourne Cups (after Archer, Rain Lover and Think Big).
But Kiwi was controversially scratched the day before the race, as Victoria Racing chief vet John Bourke diagnosed a pastern injury (the bone above the hoof) to the disbelief of both Lupton and Cassidy.
In his autobiography Pumper, Cassidy argued that the VRC were terrified of the prospect of a New Zealand owned and trained horse winning Australia's biggest race in successive years.
"It was bullshit because the horse was not injured and he was fit to run," said Cassidy. "[Snow Lupton] did all the tests they asked for, and they still said the horse wasn't fit to race."
Kiwi lined up again in 1985 but the eight-year-old was past his peak and finished fifth.
8. Kiwis v Kangaroos, second test, 1985
"Graham Lowe looks very worried now … as well he might."
The cruel climax to this game brought grown men to tears.
After losing the first test 26-20 at Lang Park, New Zealand completely dominated Australia in Auckland in a superb performance.
Five-eighth Olsen Filipaina tormented Wally Lewis, while the pack, with Mark Graham and Kurt Sorensen to the fore, were outstanding.
The Kiwis blew several try-scoring opportunities and had a couple controversially ruled out but were hanging on to a 6-4 lead with less than two minutes to play.
"We didn't get to our kick and turned the ball over just over halfway," Graham told the Herald in 2015. "What happened next was a nightmare."
Lewis put Garry Jack into a hole and the fullback sent wing John Ribot over, for the ultimate escape.
"It absolutely tore me apart," recalled prop Kevin Tamati. "It was one of those sporting moments but, at the time, you were thinking, 'what the f*** happened there?'"
Lewis embraced Graham Lowe in the corridor, as the crestfallen Kiwis coach was trying to talk to reporters, while Australian media were sympathetic, with headlines including 'The Best Side Lost' and 'Home on a Wing and a Fullback'.
The Kiwis rebounded with a famous 18-0 victory in the third test, but their chance at a series win and immortality was gone.
7. 2011 Netball World Championships final, Singapore
"New Zealand have scored the last three goals but they need to keep Australia out here."
The Silver Ferns were clear favourites heading into this decider.
They had an experienced core of players – including Casey Williams, Laura Langman, Temepara George and Irene Van Dyk, as well as the talent of Maria Tutaia.
Though coach Norma Plummer was typically confident, Australia were a young team deprived of some key players, including Sharelle McMahon.
New Zealand led by six at halftime, before the introduction of Diamonds shooter Caitlin Bassett changed the momentum. But the Ferns still had the edge, with a one goal lead, and possession, with less than 40 seconds to play, before giving up a cheap turnover, with a Bassett goal sending the match into overtime.
Tutaia, who landed the decisive goal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, missed an opportunity late in the second overtime period, before Bassett won the game with the last play.
"I am pretty emotional – as you can see right now there are tears in my eyes," said Williams.
The Ferns' golden generation had blown their golden opportunity.
6. Black Caps vs Australia, third test, 1987, Melbourne Cricket Ground
"And umpire French says no."
Unfolding in prime time, on free to air television, the conclusion to this match was riveting and almost one of the greatest comebacks in New Zealand cricket history.
Trailing 1-0 in the series, Jeff Crowe's team looked down and out at tea on the final day, with Australia needing 100 runs for victory with seven wickets in hand.
But an inspired spell from Richard Hadlee (who took four wickets, including Allan Border), aided by John Bracewell, Ewen Chatfield and Danny Morrison, meant an improbable victory looked increasingly likely.
The last Australian pair of Craig McDermott and Mike Whitney dug in for the final 30 balls, but were fortunate. McDermott survived two vociferous LBW appeals, with the second – on the penultimate ball of the penultimate over – hitting him plumb, halfway up his back pad.
"Oh, and he's gone right through him, hit him on the pad … and umpire French says no," said Ian Chappell in commentary for Channel 9, as Dick French turned down the New Zealand pleas.
Whitney defied Hadlee in the final over, to ensure Australia's first series victory in four years. Across four attempts, New Zealand has never come closer to winning a test at the MCG.
5. 1991 Rugby World Cup semifinal, Dublin
"Tim Horan has scored a brilliant try for Australia, but it all came from that man David Campese, yet again."
The All Blacks machine had been stuttering along, but the manner of this defeat was still a jolt. It was New Zealand's first Rugby World Cup loss and ended the defence of the 1987 crown in tame circumstances.
New Zealand topped England, Italy and the USA in group play, before a comfortable victory over Canada in their quarter-final.
After Australia squeaked home against Ireland in their last eight clash, the All Blacks were slight favourites in Dublin.
But they never looked likely. Captain Gary Whetton gambled on playing into the wind and the Wallabies, helped by a dominant lineout, took full advantage in the first half, with superb tries to David Campese and Tim Horan for a 13-0 lead at the break.
New Zealand couldn't penetrate the Australian defence in the second half, only managing two Grant Fox penalties. It was the first of five failed Cup campaigns, before the celebrated breakthrough in 2011.
4. 1988 Rugby League World Cup final, Auckland
"Look at this crowd, as the Kiwis come out. Oh boy. We thought Lang Park had some atmosphere. This is incredible."
Eden Park was sold out for the biggest match in New Zealand league's history.
It was a superb Kiwis lineup, with Mark Graham, Kurt Sorensen, Clayton Friend and Dean Bell from the legendary 1985 team alongside new stars like Gary Freeman, Kevin Iro and Sam Stewart.
They were slight favourites, up against a relatively inexperienced Australian side and expectations were high.
But the match was a disaster. Allan Langer took the crowd out of the equation to set up two early tries, while rookie referee Graham Ainui frustrated the Kiwis with his interpretations.
New Zealand were bogged down by a continuous flow of errors and penalties and their attempts to physically intimidate Australia backfired.
At 21-0, the game was all over by halftime, before Kevin and Tony Iro scored late consolation tries.
An NZRL report castigated the players; in response Bell would never play for the Kiwis again, while other players criticised coach Tony Gordon's methods.
The manner of the result, on such a stage, set the game back considerably and the Kiwis only managed one win over the Kangaroos in the next eight years.
3. 1999 Netball World Championships final, Christchurch
"Oh … a pressure shot if ever there was one."
The Silver Ferns came to Christchurch as hot favourites.
Yvonne Willering's squad were the form side, playing the World Championships on home soil for the first time since 1975.
The Jill McIntosh-coached Australia side were judged to be past their best, mocked as 'Jill's geriatrics' in the New Zealand media.
With the tournament broadcast live on free to air television, the final drew a staggering audience, with more than one million Kiwis tuning in.
The Ferns held a six-goal lead at three-quarter time, before everything unravelled. New Zealand lost their nerve in the final quarter and Australia, helped by some astute substitutions, began to reel them in.
Donna Loffhagen was the standout shooter on the night with 30 goals (no one else managed more than 15) but missed two chances in the final minute to seal the victory.
From the second, Liz Ellis grabbed the rebound - "as Loffhagen took that shot, I promised myself that if that ball came out no one on God's earth but me was going to get it" - with 16 seconds on the clock.
The ball sped down court, before 21-year-old Sharelle McMahon nailed the winning shot with a second left. Australia had scored 14 goals to seven in the final quarter.
2. 2003 Rugby World Cup semifinal, Sydney
"Four more years, boys, four more years."
If the pain of losing another World Cup semifinal to the Wallabies was bad enough, the brutal beauty of George Gregan's infamous sledge made it even worse.
Defending champions Australia were off to another World Cup final – and the chance for a third title – while the All Blacks were heading home.
The result was harder to take than 1991, when time caught up with an ageing New Zealand side.
Few in this country had contemplated the possibility of defeat, especially with the 50-21 smashing of Australia at the same venue less than four months earlier, and the authoritative 29-9 win over the Springboks in the Cup quarter-final.
But the All Blacks were on the back foot early, with Stirling Mortlock's length of the field intercept, and never really got into the game.
The Australian pack were in control, and Stephen Larkham and Gregan orchestrated things superbly, keeping the ball away from New Zealand's lethal back three of Doug Howlett, Mils Muliaina and Joe Rokocoko.
Australia led 13-7 at halftime and kept the All Blacks at arm's length through the second half, to the delight of the 82,000 crowd.
1. 2015 Cricket World Cup final, Melbourne Cricket Ground
"Bowled him ... got him third ball! Couldn't get bat on ball on the first two, the third one canons into off stump."
Never has a cricket match involving New Zealand been more anticipated – and never have dreams died so hard.
The Black Caps were in the form of their lives at the 2015 tournament, gaining momentum with every match as the nation abounded in cricket fever.
Brendon McCullum's cavalier approach was paying off, with the team feeding off his attacking mindset.
The torching of England was the highlight of group play, as the Black Caps completed their chase in 13 overs, but there were also memorable victories over Sri Lanka and Australia.
New Zealand smashed 393/6 in their quarter-final against the West Indies, then edged South Africa to reach the decider.
After falling six times previously at the semifinal stage, surely this was our time?
Australia were favourites, but we had McCullum. We had Guptill. We had Williamson and Taylor, the wildcards of Elliott and Anderson, the experience of Vettori and the lethal combination of Boult and Southee.
The Black Caps won the toss, but that was as good as it got.
McCullum, armed with a pre-ordained plan to attack Mitchell Starc, was castled for a three-ball duck.
"One country sinks to its knees as the other jumps for joy," said commentator Ian Smith in television.
The loss of Guptill and Williamson left the Black Caps at 39/3 and the result was inevitable, a slow, painful strangulation.
New Zealand recorded four ducks (a World Cup final record) in their total of 183, which Australia overhauled in 33.1 overs, for their fifth title.