Do or die time for Wallabies
August 2, 2010
John Eales lifts the Bledisloe Cup following Australia's last win in Christchurch © Getty Images
The pressure is mounting on Australia boss Robbie Deans prior to this weekend's Tri-Nations showdown with New Zealand in Christchurch, with last Saturday's 49-28 loss to the All Blacks in Melbourne extending their losing run against their Trans-Tasman rivals to eight Tests.
The last Wallaby win came in July 2008, when Ryan Cross, Peter Hynes, Rocky Elsom and James Horwill scored tries in a 34-19 Sydney victory.
Their losing streak began a year ago this week and to compound the task ahead they have not won on New Zealand soil since the halcyon days of 2001, when John Eales' men picked up a 23-15 victory in Dunedin on their way to the Tri-Nations title. One more loss to their old foes will see them equal their worst run of defeats, dating back to a barren spell between 1936 and 1947.
The sides have met at Lancaster Park on 12 occasions, with the All Blacks out on top with eight wins to four since the first game between the sides at the ground in 1913.
The most recent meeting was in 2006, when two Keven Mealamu tries secured a 32-12 All Blacks win, with the Wallabies having to go back two Tests for a victory, their 27-23 Bledisloe Cup-clinching effort in 1998.
The rivalry between the two sides dates back to 1903 when New Zealand triumphed 22-3 in Sydney.
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: 137, New Zealand won 93, 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
As Ray McLoughlin prepares to celebrate his 75th birthday, Huw Richards pays tribute to the man and the selectors who had the wisdom to bring him into the Ireland fold
John Taylor argues the world's best XVs players must be given a chance to play in the Olympics to increase the appeal of the game
The All Blacks' form is not a peaking issue, but Hansen must threaten to wield his axe, to demand improvement, Craig Dowd writes
"It has been the World Cup that smashed down the gender barriers of the sport." Tom Hamilton looks back at a remarkable tournament