This is is the kind of stuff the ARU sends out to all of their media contacts in the lead up to the test. Enjoy the read and keep an eye out for how much of it is replicated in the papers over the coming week.
Australia v New Zealand: Head to Head
At All Venues: Australia 45 wins, New Zealand 106 wins, 5 draws
In Australia: Australia 27 wins, New Zealand 54 wins, 4 draws
In New Zealand: Australia 17 wins, New Zealand 51 wins, 1 draw
At Neutral Venues: Australia 1 win, New Zealand 1 win
Biggest Australian winning margin at all venues: 21 (28-7 at Sydney, 1999)
Heaviest Australian defeat by margin at all venues: 37 (6-43 at Wellington, 1996)
Biggest Australian winning score at all venues: 34 (34-19), Sydney, 2008
Most points conceded by Australia at all venues: 50 (21-50), Sydney, 2003
Most points scored by Australia at all venues: 35 (35-39) at Sydney, 2000
Most tries scored by Australia at all venues: 5 (30-16) Auckland, 1978, & (35-39) Sydney, 2000
Most tries conceded by Australia at all venues: 9 (13-38), Dunedin, 1936
Individual Player Statistics
Most appearances by an Australian player against New Zealand: 29 by David Campese, 1982-96
Most points in a Test by an Australian player against New Zealand: 24 by Matthew Burke, Brisbane, 1996
Most points in a Test by a New Zealand player against Australia: 29 by Andrew Mehrtens, Auckland, 1999
Most tries in a Test by an Australian player against New Zealand: 4 by Greg Cornelsen; Auckland, 1978
Most tries in a Test by a New Zealand player against Australia: 3 by five players including current winger Joe Rokocoko (2003)
Most tries in a Test career by an Australian player against New Zealand: 8 by David Campese, 1982-96
Leading Australian Test point-scorers against New Zealand
176 Matthew Burke
133 Michael Lynagh
84 Stirling Mortlock
61 Matt Giteau
Leading New Zealand Test point-scorers against Australia
202 Andrew Mehrtens
159 Grant Fox
153 Daniel Carter
Leading Australian Test try-scorers against New Zealand
8 David Campese
7 Matthew Burke
5 Tim Horan
5 Stirling Mortlock
5 Lote Tuqiri
Most Test Appearances by Australians against New Zealand
29 David Campese
27 George Gregan
23 Tim Horan
22 Stephen Larkham
22 Phil Kearns
21 John Eales
21 Nick Farr Jones
21 Simon Poidevin
20 George Smith
General Bledisloe Cup Trivia:
The man in charge: In 2007, Graham Henry attended his second Rugby World Cup, taking the
All Blacks to the quarter-finals, after he had achieved the same with Wales in 1999. Henry has won 57 of the 66 Tests he has had in charge of New Zealand. This includes 30 of the 32 played on New Zealand soil, with the defeats both being sustained in Dunedin; against South Africa last year, and France last month. Henry is now into his sixth year as All Blacks coach, having previously headed up Auckland for six seasons, the (Auckland) Blues in Super rugby for three, Wales between 1998 and 2002, as well as the 2001 British & Irish Lions in Australia.
The First Game: Rugby has been played in New Zealand since 1870, with the first match
being played between Nelson College and the Nelson Football Club at the top of the South Island on 14 May. The first representative game was held later that year between teams from Nelson and Wellington.
New Zealand’s Provincial Pride: The quality of the New Zealand provincial game, which
currently has a two-tiered national competition featuring 26 provincial representative teams, has long been considered the core strength of the All Black game. The first provincial unions – Wellington and Canterbury – date back to 1879 (13 years before the formation of the New Zealand Rugby Union), while the first overseas team was received in 1882 when New South Wales toured.
One of a kind: Wallaby coach Robbie Deans has already carved for himself a unique niche in
Bledisloe Cup history. The first foreigner to guide the Wallabies presided over Australia’s highest winning score against New Zealand – 34 points at Sydney last term – five years after he had been co-coach of an All Black side that had inflicted the highest concession of points – 50 – on Australia! Deans played fullback in a New Zealand side which retained the Bledisloe Cup with a 2-1 series win in Australia in 1984. He then helped the All Blacks regain the trophy for the first time in five seasons, in 2003, as assistant coach of the side which won that year’s series 2-0.
The Third Century: Wallaby skipper Stirling Mortlock is closing in on becoming the third Australian
player to post a century of points against the All Blacks. Mortlock has 84 points (including five tries) from 16 previous Tests against New Zealand. Just four players from any country have more Test points against New Zealand while just three – Australians David Campese and Matthew Burke and South African Joost van der Westhuizen – have crossed the All Black goal-line on more occasions.
Twenty Not Out!: Wallaby flanker George Smith, who becomes the 10th player in history to a
century of Test matches on Saturday night, has played a fifth of them against the All Blacks. Smith lined up against New Zealand for the 20th time in the Test at Hong Kong last year. This is the most appearances against the All Blacks by any member of the current squad. It is also the seventh highest figure achieved by any player against the All Blacks, with all of the players above him on that list, Australian. Smith will tie the career tallies of John Eales, Simon Poidevin and Nick Farr Jones this weekend by clocking up his 21st All Black Test. Beyond Saturday night, only David Campese (29), George Gregan (27), Tim Horan (23), Stephen Larkham and Phil Kearns (both 22) will have tackled New Zealand on a greater number of occasions in the Test arena.
Fortress Eden Park: The All Blacks will be bidding for their 20th consecutive Test win at Eden
Park on Saturday night, not having dropped a match at the ground since France prevailed in 1994. New Zealand’s unbeaten sequence began later that year with an 18-18 draw against South Africa, which has subsequently been added to by 19 successive Test wins. Australia has lost seven matches at the venue during this time, with New Zealand’s other Test wins being achieved against England (three), Ireland, Scotland and South Africa (all two times each), France, the British & Irish Lions, and Canada.
New Zealand Test record @ Eden Park 1995-2009
1995: Beat Canada 73-7
1995: Beat Australia 28-16
1996: Beat Scotland 36-12
1997: Beat South Africa 55-35
1998: Beat England 40-10
1999: Beat Australia 34-15
2000: Beat Scotland 48-14
2001: Beat South Africa 26-15
2002: Beat Ireland 40-8
2003: Beat Australia 21-17
2004: Beat England 36-12
2005: Beat British & Irish Lions 38-19
2005: Beat Australia 34-24
2006: Beat Ireland 27-17
2006: Beat Australia 34-27
2007: Beat France 42-11
2007: Beat Australia 26-12
2008: Beat England 37-20
2008: Beat Australia 39-10
Bledisloe ‘Bliss’ in 1986: Australia hasn’t prevailed at Eden Park since 1986, when an Andrew
Slack-led side won 22-9 to claim the Bledisloe Cup after a 2-1 series win. New Zealand has won the last 10 games between the two sides in the city since then, and has won 18 of the 22 previous trans-Tasman Test matches played in Auckland. The first Test between Australia and New Zealand in Auckland was played in 1925, with the home side winning 36-10. Australia’s Auckland wins were achieved in 1949 (16-9), 1955 (8-3), 1978 (30-16) and 1986 (22-9). The last example of an Australian win on New Zealand soil was in 2001, when the Wallabies scored 23-15 in Dunedin. The All Blacks have won the eight games that have been played between the two nations in New Zealand since that match.
Propping Up the All Blacks: All Black prop Tony Woodcock has scored five tries in his 52
Tests, and they’ve all been posted against Australia. The 28-year-old scored his maiden Test try during the 2007 Bledisloe Cup Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, and also scored in the Tests at Auckland (twice) and Brisbane last year. Three of his five Test tries have been scored against the Wallabies in Eden Park Tests.
Did you know?: The two tries scored by the Qantas Wallabies winger Drew Mitchell inside of the
opening 25 minutes of last year’s historic Bledisloe Cup Test in Hong Kong were the only tries conceded by the All Blacks through the five Tests that they played on last year’s Grand Slam-winning trip through Hong Kong, Great Britain and Ireland.
The man in the middle: South African whistler Craig Joubert, who has
replaced the original appointee Mark Lawrence, officiated in last year’s Bledisloe Cup Test between the Qantas Wallabies and the All Blacks at Sydney, which Australia won 34-19. That was only the second time the All Blacks had been refereed by Joubert, and they won the other game.