It shouldn't really be surprising that Wallabies dominate our list of Bledisloe Cup heroes. After all, the trophy is pretty much ours by right, so when the Convicts do get their mitts on it, chances are they've done something special. Winston Aldworth and David Leggat look at the great deeds that have lit up the trophy's history.
1 George Gregan
Long before he politely pointed out to Byron Kelleher the number of years that passed between Rugby World Cups, the quick-witted Wallabies halfback had earned his place in All Black-themed pop quizzes with a 1994 tackle on Jeff Wilson that left New Zealanders dumbstruck.
The All Blacks seemed to have the trophy in their mits when a late resurgence saw fullback Shane Howarth send the ball to the young winger.
Goldie went 40 metres beating defenders and cut inside the last line only to meet Gregan whose tackle - "That Tackle" - secured the Cup with a 20-16 scoreline. "And Laurie Mains can only look aghast," observed Keith Quinn.
2 Hika the hooker
In these days of long-range tries being two-a-penny, a couple from 1980 stood out as spectacular efforts from deep in the 'wrong' half - both scored by the bustling Bay of Plenty hooker, Hika Reid.
At Brisbane, 1-0 down in the series, the All Blacks got up to win 12-9, scarcely convincing and it might have meant a series defeat had Reid not popped up in the right place at the right time.
Fifteen minutes remained, and the Wallabies were 9-6 ahead, when Reid came away from a maul 10m out from the All Blacks line.
Halfback Dave Loveridge's long pass found the peerless centre Bruce Robertson. He made ground and the ball then shuffled through several pairs of hands, Gary Cunningham, Tim Twigden, Andy Haden, Murray Watts and Mark Taylor with Reid on hand for the final delivery and a spectacular try. Brett Codlin's conversion gave the All Blacks' a 12-9 win.
Reid repeated that effort against Wales in their centenary test in Cardiff five months later. Loveridge and Graham Mourie initiated the attack from a lineout, Robertson, Bill Osborne and Stu Wilson all made ground before Wilson, tackled near the Welsh line, held the ball aloft and flipped it to Reid, backing up industriously for the try.
3 Greg Cornelsen
One player scoring four tries in a Bledisloe Cup match probably seems like no big deal to kids these days, who have been raised on the bubble-gum frippery of professional rugby and its bonus point mayhem.
But Greg Cornelsen bagged his four-try haul against the All Blacks back in the day when such things simply weren't done. His one-man scoring spree secured a 30-16 victory.
The Convicts were headed for a three-nil series whitewash when the pirate- bearded No8 barged over for his four tries. The former Wallaby loose forward has built an after-dinner speaking career on the back of his efforts against the All Blacks in 1978 and his deeds planted a seed that was to bear a troubling fruit for New Zealand rugby.
"The first game of rugby I ever remember the Wallabies playing was 1978 and I will never forget it because I was at home, I watched in on the ABC and the Wallabies won," said a guy called John Eales, who went on to write his own page of Bledisloe history ...
4 John Eales
All Black fans have no problem with seeing their side beaten by locks who deliver inspirational performances (Willie Johh McBride and Martin Johnson take a bow) - but at the Cake Tin in 2000, Eales was just taking the piss. Landing a sideline penalty? By a second rower?
Eales himself fancied the chances of the team's regular goalkicker landing the shot that was to define his career.
"We got the penalty and I thought: 'This is fantastic. Where's Stirling [Mortlock]?'. And I look around and Stirling's not there. Jeremy Paul came up to me and said: 'Mate, Stirling's off. It's your kick.'
"I'm very glad it went over because I think my life and people's memories of me as a rugby player would have been very different."
Too right. They called him "Nobody", as in "Nobody's perfect". And he pretty much was, too. The final score of 24-23 was a highlight in a golden era for Australia, and the psychological blow of the big lock belting over the winning kick hung over New Zealand rugby for many years.
5 Buck Shelford
The year was 1988. The All Blacks needed a new captain. David Kirk had moved on post-World Cup, so the selectors turned to a bloke they knew would lead from the front.
Step forward Buck. Wales were seen off by half a century twice before the All Blacks headed across the Tasman. Part of the Shelford legend as one of the game's true hard men came out of that three-test series. The first was won impressively 32-7 at the Concord Oval in suburban Sydney, but the second was a different story.
The All Blacks were off their game, trailed 16-6 in the second half before getting to 19-all. Back to Sydney with the Wallabies needing a victory to level the series, but they were swamped, the All Blacks, with Shelford having his best game of the tour, winning 30-9.
Shelford ended with a bloodied head. His was a "follow me guys" philosophy and he was ideally suited to the job. His legend only grew, culminating in the "Bring Back Buck" campaign when he was dumped two years later.
6 Christian Cullen
Perhaps the highest praise to be thrown at a modern player is to say "he has a bit of Christian Cullen about him" (it's been whispered of Israel Dagg). But, in truth, there will surely never be another like the man called "Beer Bottle". The try Cullen scored in the Bledisloe Cup match at Carisbrook in 1997 was one for the ages.
Cullen took a long, flat pass from Zinzan Brooke just outside his 22 and blazed upfield on a weaving run that scattered defenders and highlighted the fullback's easy pace.
The final score from a forgettable match that day in Dunedin was 36-24 but Cullen's try lingers long in the memory.
The great fullback was no flat-track bully (and he was no centre either). After the disastrous 1999 World Cup campaign, he returned to the No 15 jersey in 2000 and hit scorching form, running in 11 tries in 10 tests. In the four Tri-Nations matches he scored seven times.
7 Jonah Lomu
Some billed it as the "greatest game of rugby ever played", others thought the defending left a bit to be desired.
However you read it, when the All Blacks blazed their way to a 24-0 lead in a sharpish opening eight minutes of the first match of the 2000 Tri-Nations Series, it seemed the Bledisloe was secured. But a stirring Wallaby fightback brought the game - and the crowd of 109,874 - to life.
The All Blacks' monster winger Jonah Lomu was at the heart of the action - the Wallabies targeting his side of the field and the All Blacks eager to get the ball into his hands. One 50m run from Lomu put Pita Alatini over the tryline.
But it was at the game's death that his twinkle toes and elephantine strength snatched a famous victory. Trailing 34-35, a final pass from Taine Randell gave the big Tongan an inch of space outside Wallaby No 10, Stephen Larkham. He brushed off Larkham and rounded out a remarkable evening.
8 David Campese
When a little-known 19-year-old winger from Queanbeyan was named in the Wallabies for the opening match of a Bledisloe Cup series, an Aussie journalist asked him how he felt about marking the All Black great Stu Wilson.
"Stu who?" was David Campese's typically cheeky response.
The All Blacks had the better of the series, but not before Campese had introduced the world to the goose-step - introducing the more-fancied Wilson to a clean pair of heels along the way.
In his autobiography,
On A Wing And A Prayer
, Campese played down his success against Wilson. "I beat Stu Wilson, the All Black wing, a few times, on a couple of occasions by employing the goose-step. So much has been made of that fact over the years that it has been blown out of all proportion."
Campo loved to play the All Blacks - in less earnest times, he enjoyed a chuckle at the haka - and in 1991 it was a no-look miracle pass from Campese to Tim Horan that introduced New Zealand to the now-familiar sensation of being dumped out of a World Cup.
9 Toutai Kefu
A loose forward in All Black colours is rarely beaten on defence as badly as Ron Cribb on the day Toutai Kefu popped the Bledisloe Cup in his back pocket back in 2001.
With the All Blacks holding on to a slender lead in the dying seconds of the match, the Wallaby No 8 sizzled on to a short ball from Steve Larkham. Power, agility and a sympathetic shepherd from the Aussie No 10 saw the star loose forward seal the match right beside the posts.
Kefu had played a blinder with a try-saving tackle on Byron Kelleher and crucial hits on Pita Alatini. He carried the ball like a rogue freight train.
The 29-26 victory sealed a rare Bledisloe Cup Wallaby whitewash.
10 Kevin Crowe
The only match official to make our roll call of Bledisloe Heroes was a Queenslander whose generous penalty-try decision at the end of the second Bledisloe Cup test in 1968 kept the All Blacks on a 34-match winning streak.
With just seconds remaining, Australia's 18-14 lead had them on the verge of a rare victory. All Black centre Bill Davis cut through a gap and booted the ball 30 metres into the Wallaby in-goal after his winger Graham Thorne was taken out.
Even the most one-eyed of All Black supporters would have been surprised to see referee Kevin Crowe toot the whistle and run under the sticks to award a penalty try.
The referee and his touch judges needed a police escort to get off the field. "There we were among all the shovels, rakes, mowers and equipment as the angry mob bashed on the door and kicked the hell out of the room," Crowe later recalled.
Fullback Fergie McCormick's conversion gave the All Blacks a 19-18 victory.