If you are younger than 63 you weren't alive the last time Wales beat the All Blacks.

With every match since has come the expectation of the faithful in the principality that this would be Wales' day, again.

So far, no dice. They have had chances, most contentiously in 1978, when Wales led 12-10 before Brian McKechnie's match-winning penalty in the dying moments, after lock
Andy Haden's exaggerated dive out of a lineout, combined with an infringement against a Welsh lock.

Or when Richie McCaw's debut as All Black captain, November 20 2004, almost came unstuck.


Welsh captain Gareth Thomas opted to take three points to get within one with four minutes to go. Even McCaw admitted to relief that Wales didn't chance their arm in a thriller.

So how are the emotions in Welsh households approaching this weekend? 'Maybe, just maybe this will be the one'; or 'here we go again'.

The more fanatical may figure they can die happy once they see the All Blacks vanquished just once. Those older than 63 doubtless will wonder if they'd ever see it happen again in their lifetimes.

The record is grim, but still the Welsh live in hope.

Of 33 tests between the countries, the All Blacks have won 30 and lost three - 3-0 against the 1905 Originals; 13-12 in 1935-36; and on December 19, 1953.

Wales 13 All Blacks 8 with the decisive score a try to celebrated wing, and Olympic sprinter, Ken Jones from a cross kick by flanker, and later noted rugby writer, Clem Thomas.

It was Jones' second famous try against the All Blacks, after his sprint from halfway at Eden Park for the Lions to score in the final test of the 1950 tour. Unlike the Welsh test, that resulted in a valiant 11-8 defeat.

Some numbers.


As of fulltime on Sunday morning it will have been:

63 years, 11 months, seven days since the last Welsh victory over the All Blacks; or if you prefer 560,470 hours; or 23,353 days.

December 1953 was both a notable, and tragic month.

German Albert Schweitzer received the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize; Hugh Hefner published the first issue of Playboy, with Marilyn Monroe its centerspread. At $0.50 it sold 54,000 copies; the first colour television sets went on sale in the United States, at a pricy $US1,175 each; and Queen Elizabeth II had her coronation in London.

New Zealand's worst train disaster, at Tangiwai, 10km west of Waiouru in the central North Island and which killed 151 people, was to happen five days later on Christmas Eve.

It's worth remembering when Wales won, it meant they had won three of four tests to that point against the All Blacks, the exception being the 19-0 dumping by the 1924 Invincibles.

No one could possibly have forseen how the next 63 years would unfold in the playing relations between the two countries.

The 1953-54 All Blacks weren't among the stellar teams to leave New Zealand. They also lost to Cardiff (8-3), south-west France (11-8) and France (3-0) on their marathon five-month, 36-game trek.

Most of that is forgotten in far-off times. Apart from one result anyway.

The TAB has the All Blacks $1.11 hot favourites; Wales are at $6.10 to repeat 63-year old history.