Transtasman sporting clashes are often highlights of the sporting calendar. On this Anzac Day, Alex McLeod lists the best of the Anzac matches across four codes.
All Blacks v Wallabies
The Biggest: Rugby World Cup Final 2015
By virtue of being a World Cup final, this showdown between the All Blacks and Wallabies can be classified as the biggest match in their 114-year rivalry. It was the final outing in a black jersey for a number of All Black legends, including the likes of Richie McCaw, Ma'a Nonu, Conrad Smith and Keven Mealamu, but it was Dan Carter in his last-ever test appearance who stole the show at Twickenham, with a man-of-the-match performance culminating in a 40m drop goal with ten minutes remaining to essentially secure the All Blacks with back-to-back World Cup titles.
The best from a New Zealand perspective: Bledisloe Cup I 2000
The first edition of the 2000 Bledisloe Cup series is still considered as one of the best games of rugby union ever to have taken place. The All Blacks raced to a 24-0 lead inside the first eight minutes through tries to Tana Umaga, Pita Alatini and Christian Cullen and the pin-point goalkicking of Andrew Mehrtens. The Wallabies replied staunchly, and miraculously managed to level the score at 24-all at halftime. The match was a seesaw battle, and with the scoreline reading 35-34 to the Wallabies in injury time, the world record crowd of 109,874 was treated to a Jonah Lomu special, with the big winger dotting down in the left-hand corner to secure a famous 39-35 win in Sydney.
The best from an Australian perspective: Bledisloe Cup II 2000
If the first match of the 2000 Bledisloe Cup series was anything to go by, then the second match was bound to be a spectacle. In the first test match at the newly-built Westpac Stadium in Wellington, the Australians needed a win to retain the Bledisloe for another year after their thrilling loss to the All Blacks three weeks earlier. The reigning world champions went 12-0 up inside 16 minutes, but the hosts came back to level the scores in what seemed like a reversal of roles from their previous encounter in Sydney. With the All Blacks leading 23-21 six minutes into injury time, it seemed as though the Australians were destined to lose the Bledisloe for the first time since 1997. That was until they were given the chance to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat through a penalty awarded 15m from the touchline on the 22m mark by referee Jonathan Kaplan. With no frontline goalkickers available to take the kick, captain and lock John Eales stepped up and landed the only penalty goal of his career to lock away the silverware for another season in one of the most iconic moments in Bledisloe Cup history. It was also the last time Australia won on New Zealand soil.
Other contenders: Knocking the All Blacks out of the 1991 and 2003 World Cups.
Black Caps v Australia
The Biggest: Cricket World Cup Final 2015
15 was a year full of transtasman clashes in World Cup finals, and Australia's meeting with the Black Caps at the MCG in March two years ago was arguably the biggest of the lot. Similarly to the All Blacks and Wallabies' Rugby World Cup final showdown in Twickenham later that year, this match is the biggest of the two nations' 71-year history due to the fact the match was a World Cup final.
Much hype surrounded the face-off between the two co-hosts of the 2015 tournament, but the match itself failed to live up to the lofty heights expected of it, with a James Faulkner-inspired Australia pushing on to win by seven wickets in front of a world record 93,013 crowd to send off three of their greats in Michael Clarke, Brad Haddin and Mitchell Johnson.
The best from a New Zealand perspective: Hobart test 2011
An outstanding spell by fast-bowler Doug Bracewell gave the Black Caps a dramatic test victory on Australian soil for the first time in 26 years. The then 21-year-old took the wickets of Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke and Michael Hussey, all on 159, leaving them on 173/5 as they looked to reach their target score of 241. The remaining five batsmen were no match for the rampant New Zealand side however, scoring just 60 more runs between them, with Bracewell taking the final two wickets to come up with bowling figures of 6/40 and hold Australia seven runs short of victory to draw the series 1-1.
Other contenders: The Gabba victory in 1987, 2015 Cricket World Cup pool match at Eden Park
The best from an Australian perspective: 2003 Cricket World Cup Super Sixes
The aforementioned World Cup final of 2015 could be easily argued as Australia's best performance against their trans-Tasman rivals, but it would be cheating to cover the same match twice. Instead, their ridiculous comeback during the 2003 Cricket World Cup Super Sixes in Port Elizabeth takes the cake. Batting first, the Australians opened with a horror show, with Ian Harvey's dismissal leaving his side with a horrendous score of 84/7 after 26.3 overs. Against all odds, however, an incredible 97-run partnership between Michael Bevan and Andy Bichel for the eighth wicket saw Australia's fortunes sky-rocket, ending the innings with an unlikely score of 208/9. The momentum swing was too much for the Black Caps to respond to, scoring 112 all out and losing by 96 runs. The comeback was a sign of things to come for Australia, as they pushed on to claim their third World Cup title.
Kiwis v Kangaroos
The Biggest: 2008 Rugby League World Cup final
Sticking to the rule of thumb that World Cup finals are the grandest stage of them all, the 2008 Rugby League World Cup final stands out as the biggest league fixture of all-time between the Kiwis and Kangaroos. Hosting the tournament themselves, Australia were heavily tipped to run away with their tenth World Cup title in the first tournament in eight years. With a grand final side featuring the likes of Billy Slater, Greg Inglis, Israel Folau, Darren Lockyer, Jonathan Thurston, Cameron Smith and Paul Gallen, few would have bet against the Ricky Stewart-coached side to romp home at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. Instead, it was the Nathan Cayless-led Kiwis outfit who came back home with the silverware, winning their first-ever World Cup title thanks to a 34-20 upset victory in Stephen Kearney's debut year as head coach.
The best from a New Zealand perspective: 2014 Four Nations Final
Excluding the 2008 World Cup final win, three matches stand out as huge wins for the Kiwis over the Kangaroos. However, the 2014 Four Nations final win gets the nod over the 2005 Tri-Nations final demolition in Leeds and the 2010 Four Nations final thriller on the Gold Coast. Shaun Johnson's performance in the 2014 final alone sealed his fate as the 2014 Golden Boot winner as the world's best player, with the halfback putting on a clinic for the Westpac Stadium fans in what is New Zealand's only home tournament win across all Tri and Four Nations tournaments since 1999.
The best from an Australian perspective: 2013 World Cup Final
The Kangaroos have defeated the Kiwis in three World Cup finals but the last one probably stands out most due to the revenge factor. Australia ran in six tries at Old Trafford with Billy Slater and Brett Morris both scoring doubles in a very convincing display, running away 34-2. The performance capped off amazing tournament for Australia with the side failing to concede a try in their final five games.
Silver Ferns v Australian Diamonds
The biggest: 2010 Commonwealth Games final
Really? How can you pick one? Every World Cup final or Commonwealth Games final is huge. But the 2010 Comm Games is hard to top for drama.
The best from a New Zealand perspective: The 2010 Commonwealth Games
The gold medal match in Delhi was the longest game in international netball, lasting 84 minutes after going into double extra-time. After the initial extra-time it was decided whichever team takes a two-point lead first would be crowed champions. Maria Tutaia hit the winning goal after receiving a pass from Temepara George just outside the circle.
The best from an Australian perspective: 1999 World Championship
Down by six goals at three-quarter time Sharelle McMahon scored the winning goal in the final second of the final to make it 42-41.