All Blacks eye another clean sweep
November 23, 2010
Dan Carter coasts in to score against Wales in 2005 © Getty Images
Wales take on New Zealand in Cardiff this weekend with the weight of history still hanging heavy over the fixture.
The hosts have not beaten the All Blacks since Ken Jones and Sid Judd's 1953 heroics and the vintage of 2010 appear to have little chance of replicating those feats after a difficult few weeks.
An encouraging start against South Africa two weeks ago was wasted in the second-half before last weekend's debacle against Fiji saw the side booed from the field. Those fans who believe Warren Gatland's men to have frozen in the face of their losing run against the Springboks will be hoping that they have discovered some steel in the intervening weeks as their wait for victory over New Zealand has become something of a national crisis.
But the fact remains that the All Blacks have also frequently enjoyed themselves, including two wins on their way to Grand Slam tours in the last five years. In 2005 they routed a weakened side 41-3 before Wales' infamous Haka showdown was quelled with a 29-9 victory.
They're in search of another clean sweep this weekend - with a result either way set to go down in the annals of the game.
Wales v New Zealand all-time record: Played 26, Wales won three, New Zealand won 23
Biggest winning margin: Wal: Five points, 13-8 at National Stadium; NZ: 52 points, 55-3 at Waikato Stadium, 2003
Highest score: Wal: 37 points, 37-53 at Stadium Australia, 2003; NZ: 55 points, 55-3 at Waikato Stadium, 2003
Most tries: Wal: Four, 37-53 at Stadium Australia, 2003; NZ: 10, 52-3 at Lancaster Park, 1988
Longest winning sequence: Wal: Two (1935-1953); NZ: 23 (1963-present)
Most points (individual): Wal: Stephen Jones 69; NZ: Dan Carter 150
Most tries (individual): Wal: Two, Geoffrey Jones; NZ: Eight, John Kirwan
Most points in a Test: Wal: 17, Stephen Jones at Stadium Australia, 2003; NZ: 27, Dan Carter at Carisbrook, 2010
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Huw Richards profiles French forward Walter Spanghero, a man who even rugby's hard men thought was a tough nut
"To be part of the Commonwealth Games, I'd wear anything. I'd wear a clown suit." Tom Hamilton talks to Scotland's Sean Lamont
Scrum Sevens looks back at how rugby has fared in both the early Olympics and the past four Commonwealth Games
"Cheika's been phenomenal. He gives you an incredible level of mental strength." Tom Hamilton talks to Waratahs star Jacques Potgieter