Every rugby fan will have his or her favourite All Black try. Here are my super seven.
Honourable mentions go to the second try Bryan Williams scored in the water-logged match against Scotland at Eden Park in 1975, Dan Carter's tries in the 2005 test against the Lions at the Cake Tin, and Israel Dagg's last-gasp winning try against South Africa in front of 94,000 spectators in Soweto in 2012.
The try that let the nation breathe again - Peter Jones, 1956, against South Africa at Eden Park
New Zealand was in a state of near hysteria in '56. Rugby was king, with a first test series win over the Springboks a possibility. The vast majority of the 61,240 people crammed into Eden Park for the fourth test stood on grass terraces. The first fans in the queue arrived with blankets on Friday morning to camp out for the Saturday afternoon game.
No 8 Peter Jones, a 24-year-old fisherman from Mangonui in the far north, was so wound up it was 10 minutes into the game before he realised the hissing he could hear was his own breath.
Five minutes after halftime All Black hooker Ron Hemi, with the touch of a football player, toed a loose ball from a lineout just inside the Springbok half towards Jones. The 108kg No 8 kicked it ahead, the ball rising towards Springbok captain, Basie Viviers. "I could have taken him and bowled him for a row of ashcans," Jones told his biographer Norman Harris. "But I had never been attracted to mauling the man." Plucking the ball down with one hand, Jones, a high school sprint champion, raced untouched to the line. "He was a big man," remembers first-five Ross Brown. "But the way he took off was phenomenal. He just exploded."
The black and white newsreel shows Jones plunging over, and then throwing a hand up, unusual behaviour for a player in those inhibited days. He wasn't celebrating. "I had a sudden strange fear that this would be like a nightmare, and the referee might not have seen it, or he might have dropped dead away down the field." The try was awarded, the All Blacks won 11-5, and a Springbok jinx that had begun in 1921 was broken.
The best - Ryan Crotty, 2013, against Ireland at Lansdowne Road in Dublin
Before hidebound traditionalists, who think nothing good has happened since rugby turned professional, enter cardiac arrest, here's my list of what makes a great test try.
One - the tactical and technical skills involved. Two - the drama of when it was scored, and how important it was to the game. Three - whether it made a mark in the history of the All Blacks.
Technically, the Crotty try is extraordinary. Almost two minutes of non-stop play, 10 breakdowns, 24 passes, 13 players handling, and not one mistake. Drama? The tap kick by Aaron Smith that started it all was taken with 15 seconds left on the clock, with Ireland ahead 22-17. Did the game make history? The 24-22 victory, after Aaron Cruden calmly slotted his second attempt at a conversion when the Irish charged his first, unsuccessful, kick too soon, cemented the 2013 All Blacks as the first professional test team in the world to go through a calendar year unbeaten.
The most emotionally fraught - Maurice Brownlie, 1925, against England at Twickenham, London
Maurice's brother Cyril was ordered off after seven minutes, the first All Black to be sent from the field. The crowd of 60,000, it was reported, was stunned into silence.
Twelve minutes into the second half, on almost exactly the spot where his brother had been sent off, Maurice Brownlie seized the ball, 30 metres from the England line.
In 1974, I spent the most magic hour of my journalistic life with George Nepia and Bert Cooke in the lounge of De Bretts hotel, before they were joined by their surviving teammates for a 50th reunion of the '24-25 tour. Cooke's eyes gleamed when he talked about Brownlie's run for his try. "He just smashed them aside. Later on he told us he wouldn't have passed the ball for a thousand pounds." The All Blacks won the test 17-11.
The emotions were still raw nearly 70 years after the game, when, at a rugby dinner in Timaru, I discovered the charming woman across the table was Maurice's daughter. After talk about her father's legendary strength (she allowed it was possible he could lift a full 44 gallon drum of petrol onto the tray of a truck) I stupidly asked her if he had ever talked about the ordering off. To my horror she had to fight to hold back tears. "My father never discussed what happened to Uncle Cyril with our family."
Never to be forgotten - Jonah Lomu, 1995, against England, at Newlands, Cape Town
Two minutes into the semifinal of the World Cup, which would be won 45-29 by the All Blacks, a pass to Lomu from Glen Osborne 40 metres from the England line falls behind the big wing. He manages to turn, and get the ball.
In Lomu's words, here's what happened next: "Look out, here's (Tony) Underwood coming in for the hit. Misses. Spins. Goalline ahead. Not far now. Around the outside of (Will) Carling. Damn. He's clipped me. Stumbling. Keep your balance Jonah. Get your balance. Look up. Mike Catt. Two strides. No option. Shoulder in my vision. Get your knee up Jonah. Bang. Into him. Over him. Through him. Sorry Mike."
In TVNZ commentator Keith Quinn's words: "Oh, oh, oh, Lomu." Indeed.
Thankfully there's video evidence this miraculous effort wasn't fake news - Ian Kirkpatrick, 1971, against the Lions, at Lancaster Park
In his schooldays as a boarder at King's College Kirkpatrick was a terrific sportsman. He was a champion pole vaulter, an event legendary running coach Arthur Lydiard reckoned was the best measure of all-round athleticism.
With six minutes to go in the third test against the Lions, All Black captain Colin Meads fed the ball at the lineout maul to flanker Kirkpatrick. On halfway Kirkpatrick exploded, brushing off attempted tackles by four Lions to run 50 metres for the try that sealed the game, the All Blacks winning, 22-12.
Kirkpatrick has always been one of the most humble men to ever wear the black jersey, so it wasn't false modesty when he told authors Lynn McConnell and Tony Johnson that with the capacity crowd "going bananas" he was "bloody embarrassed. As I was walking back and I thought if there was a hole I could jump into I would".
The try that set the World Cup on fire - John Kirwan, 1987, against Italy at Eden Park
Ten minutes before fulltime, with Eden Park less than half full for the opening game of the first World Cup, the All Blacks, as expected, are romping away 48-6. David Kirk fields a long Italian kick-off. He passes the ball to Grant Fox who sees Kirwan on his inside, racing in off his right wing. About 80 metres from the Italian line Fox lobs him the ball.
During the summer Kirwan had a training exercise at Cornwall Park, where he started at the end of a row of trees, and ran as hard as he could along the line, weaving in and out of them like a slalom skier.
On the field this day he sees shapes out of the corner of his eye. They're in the blue jerseys of Italy, but they may as well be lines of leafy oaks rooted in the ground at Cornwall Park. Six Italians are just a blur to him as he flashes past.
An end-on video of the run shows Kirwan's extraordinary balance. His 100kg frame leans so far to the side that when he swerves you'd swear he must fall, but it is the would-be tacklers who are stumbling, not him. When he watched the replays he was surprised himself at what actually happened.
The All Blacks won, 70-6, and New Zealand fell in love with the Cup.
The try that should have been - Bob Deans, 1905, against Wales at Cardiff Arms Park
Bob, the great-uncle of Robbie and Bruce Deans, was the baby of the 1905-06 Originals, just 21 years old, but his character reflected a man of depth and maturity.
Every Sunday morning, like clockwork, he would be off to church, making sure he had gathered a group to go with him. His kindness was remarkable. Players in the team would recall later how teammates who were short of money would find a five pound note pressed in their hand.
Bob Deans' integrity becomes important, because with no video evidence, we must rely on the fact he swore he scored a try that would have drawn the Welsh test, which the All Blacks lost 3-0, their only defeat on tour.
Deans was so outraged that Scottish referee, John Dallas, disallowed the try, he cabled the Daily Mail in London and said, "grounded ball six inches over line. Some of Welsh players admit try. (Jimmy) Hunter and (Fred) Glasgow (both All Blacks) can confirm was pulled back by Welshmen before referee arrived. Deans".
Was Deans telling the truth? In 1990, interviewing Robbie Deans, the try that never was came up in conversation. "All I know," said Robbie, "is that everyone one in the family who had known Uncle Bob said he was a deeply honest man."