Defeats in past will have team hoping final doesn’t turn into horror show.

For the superstitious All Blacks fan, the fact Sunday's World Cup final against Australia will be played on Halloween is not a good omen.

Hours after closing the door on the last of those trick-or-treaters, New Zealanders will tune in to the live broadcast from Twickenham, hoping the All Blacks can shrug off some spooky history associated with October 31.

Historically, the All Blacks have not played well on Halloween, and some of their most inglorious and famous defeats have fallen on this day.

They have never played at home on Halloween, but end-of-season tours and the World Cup have seen them take the field on several occasions when playing in the Northern Hemisphere.

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The scoreboard tells the story in the All Blacks' loss to Llanelli on Halloween in 1972.
The scoreboard tells the story in the All Blacks' loss to Llanelli on Halloween in 1972.

Things started well enough on October 31, 1935, when the so-called "Third All Blacks", as the UK press dubbed them, accounted for Newport 17-5.

The 1953 All Blacks comfortably made it two from two on Halloween when they defeated England's Southern Counties 24-0.

But in 1972 it all turned sour for Ian Kirkpatrick's tourists, when they were upended 9-3 by Llanelli, at Stradey Park.

The Scarlets remain the last Welsh side to beat the All Blacks.

Skip forward six years to 1978, and All Blacks misery continued when a capacity crowd of 12,000 packed into Thomond Park, Limerick, to witness Munster prevail 12-0.

After the game, All Blacks wing Stu Wilson quipped, "We were lucky to get nil."

In more recent times, one of the All Blacks' most extraordinary and painful defeats came in the 43-31 semifinal loss to France at the 1999 World Cup. The John Hart-coached side had led 24-10 early in the second half before imploding.

New Zealand halfback Mark Donaldson tries to get a pass away against Munster in 1978.
New Zealand halfback Mark Donaldson tries to get a pass away against Munster in 1978.

There are two more losses that can also be considered unlucky Halloween defeats. On October 30, 1963, the All Blacks fell 3-0 to Newport in Wales. The match, of course, took place in the early Halloween hours in New Zealand.

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You could be forgiven for forgetting October 30, 1990 (October 31, NZT), as well.

Captained by Mike Brewer, the All Blacks went down 18-12 to a south-west French composite side known as Cote Basque-Landes in Bayonne, sunk by the boot of Dax's Thierry Lacroix. Rest assured the All Blacks who played that day will not have forgotten the occasion.