Old rivals set to break new ground
July 27, 2010
Melbourne's Docklands Stadium will play host to Australia's clash with New Zealand this weekend © Getty Images
Australia and New Zealand will make history this weekend with Melbourne's Docklands Stadium set to play host to the Bledisloe Cup rivals for the first time.
The southern hemisphere giants have clashed in city on three other occasions but never before in Saturday's venue - also known as the Etihad Stadium. The three previous matches were all staged at the Melbourne Cricket Ground where the Wallabies claimed a 20-15 victory in the latest of those games in 2007 and also a 24-18 win in 1998. The All Blacks claimed a 33-18 success when the two sides met at the MCG in 1997.
The match is also the first of four Bledisloe Cup clashes scheduled for this year with the All Blacks currently in possession of the sizeable silverware thanks to a clean sweep of victories in their four meetings last year. However, their cross-Tasman dominance extends beyond that with New Zealand having held the Cup since 2003.
The rivalry between the two sides dates back to 1903 when New Zealand triumphed 22-3 in Sydney with their most recent clash having taken place in Tokyo, Japan where the All Blacks ran out winners 32-19.
New Zealand's biggest victory over their old enemies came in 1996 when tries from Zinzan Brooke, Christian Cullen, Michael Jones, Jonah Lomu, Justin Marshall and Jeff Wilson powered the All Blacks to a 43-6 at Athletic Park in Wellington. Australia's biggest victory came in 1999 where the boot of Matt Burke kicked the Wallabies to a 28-7 win at Stadium Australia.
Australia v New Zealand All-time record: Played: 136, New Zealand won 92, Australia won 39, drawn 5
Biggest winning margin: NZ: 37, 43-6 at Wellington, 1996; Aus: 21, 28-7 at Sydney, 1999
Highest score: NZ: 50 (50-21) at Sydney, 2003; Aus: 35 (35-39) at Sydney, 2000
Most tries: NZ: 9 (38-13) at Dunedin, 1936; Aus: 5 (30-16) at Auckland, 1978 and (35-39) at Sydney, 2000.
Longest winning sequence: NZ: 9 (1936-47), Aust: 3 (1978-80, 1991-92, 2000-01)
Most points (individual): NZ: Andrew Mehrtens 202; Aus: Matt Burke 176
Most tries (individual): NZ: 8 Doug Howlett, Ian Kirkpatrick, Christian Cullen; Aus: 8 David Campese
Most points in a Test: NZ: 29 Andrew Mehrtens at Auckland, 1999; Aus: 24 Matt Burke at Brisbane, 1996