Bledisloe Cup 2017

Welcome to The Roar’s comprehensive coverage of the 2017 Bledisloe Cup.

The pinnacle of Trans-Tasman sport, the Bledisloe Cup is one of the most revered trophies in world rugby. Contested each year between Australia and New Zealand, it has seen some classic encounters and has cultivated one of the greatest international rugby rivalries.

The All Blacks go into the 2017 edition of the tournament on the back of 14 consecutive Bledisloe Cup successes, with the Wallabies’ last series victory coming back in 2002.

2017 Fixtures

The first two Tests between Australia and New Zealand for 2017 will double-up as Rugby Championship matches, while the third and final match at Eden Park is a standalone Bledisloe Cup encounter. All times are in AEST.

GAME 1 GAME 2 GAME 3
Aus vs NZ NZ vs Aus Aus vs NZ
Date: August 19 Date: August 26 Date: October 21
Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-off: 8:00pm Kick-off: TBC Kick-off: 8:00pm
TV: Fox Sports, Ten TV: Fox Sports, Ten TV: Fox Sports, Ten

Stephen Moore Wallabies Australia Rugby Union Test Rugby Bledisloe Cup 2016

History

The history of the Bledisloe Cup dates back to 1931, when New Zealand’s governor-general, Lord Bledisloe, donated the trophy for the two nations to compete for. New Zealand won the initial encounter in a 20-13 victory in Auckland, and it wasn’t until 1934 that Australia got their hands on the trophy.

While the Bledisloe Cup is now an annual instalment, it wasn’t until 1982 that the two countries agreed to contest the trophy on a yearly basis. The arrival of the Tri-Nations tournament ensured the Wallabies and All Blacks would face off at least twice a year – the series had previously varied anywhere between one and five matches long.

2008 saw the first ever Bledisloe Cup match played outside of Australia or New Zealand when Hong Kong hosted the fourth and final game of the series. The fixture was repeated for the following two years, the last of which saw Australia snatch a memorable last-gasp win courtesy of an injury-time try and conversion.

The Trans-Tasman Tests have been dismal watching for Wallabies fans in recent years, with the All Blacks holding the Bledisloe Cup since 2003 thanks to a streak of 14 consecutive series victories (three of those series – 2004, 2007 and 2015 – were actually drawn, but in the case of a tied series the trophy remains with the current holder).

The period before 2003 actually saw a streak of Australian dominance. The Wallabies held the Bledisloe Cup for five years – their longest ever streak – thanks to a string of last-minute victories. John Eales and Matt Burke both slotted last-gasp penalties in 2000 and 2002 respectively, while Totai Kefu stunned the All Blacks in 2001 with a go-ahead try in the 79th minute.

All in all, New Zealand hold the advantage in total Bledisloe titles with 44 to Australia’s 12.

Recent Series

2016
The 2016 series saw three dominant performances from the All Blacks seal an ultimately easy victory.

The first match saw Australia absolutely pummeled in Sydney, with the All Blacks running out convincing 42-8 winners. 65,328 fans packed ANZ Stadium to watch the match. It was hard to know which was more telling, the All Blacks sharpness and pace off the back of Super Rugby finals, or the Wallabies inability when it came to lineouts, handling and defensive organisation.

Back home in Wellington, the All Blacks didn’t let up. They trounced Australia once again at a scoreline of 29-9, sealing a 14th straight Bledisloe Cup triumph. Australia put in a hard fought effort, bouncing back strongly from their disappointment at home the previous week, but it wasn’t enough to get past the clinical All Blacks who extended their impeccable record at home.

The All Blacks won the third Bledisloe Cup Test in a 37-10 victory. The Wallabies were able to keep pace with them early on and might have caused a boilover had they not been denied a try in controversial circumstances – but ultimately, when the All Blacks lifted gears they run away with a comprehensive win.

Julian Savea of New Zealand All Blacks scores a try

2015
2015 was the closest-fought series between Australia and New Zealand for the best part of a decade. The Wallabies came into Game 1 without a victory against the All Blacks since the lead-up to the 2011 Rugby World Cup, having racked up a poor record against New Zealand under coaches Robbie Deans and Ewen McKenzie.

But with Michael Cheika taking the reins, the Wallabies stunned the Kiwis in the second half of Game 1 after trailing 6-3 at the break. Cheika played Michael Hooper and David Pocock together in the back row, but it was backup halfback Nick White who was the hero, as he came off the bench to nail a 48-metre penalty and score the match-sealing try in the 27-19 victory.

The rare win was short-lived though, as the All Blacks bounced back in dominant fashion in Game 2 in Eden Park. Cheika had tinkered with his side with a mind to testing out different combinations ahead of the World Cup, and the Wallabies were duly outclassed by the tried-and-tested New Zealand outfit, who romped to a 41-13 victory to retain the Bledisloe Cup.

Rugby Union Articles

Six Nations: England squad announced, Genge earns recall

Six Nations: England squad announced, Genge earns recall

by , 21 Jan 2017

Prop Ellis Genge has been recalled to England’s squad for their Six Nations title defence just weeks after being dropped by coach Eddie Jones.

Six Nations blow for Scotland as Nel forced out

Six Nations blow for Scotland as Nel forced out

by , 21 Jan 2017

Scotland’s Six Nations hopes have been dealt a significant blow after it was confirmed prop WP Nel will miss the entire competition.

England pondering five-year residency rule

England pondering five-year residency rule

by , 20 Jan 2017

England’s Rugby Football Union (RFU) is backing a proposal to increase the residency qualification period to five years from the current three to restrict the number of rugby union players who switch nationalities.

Brumbies bringing back two veterans for Brisbane Tens

Brumbies bringing back two veterans for Brisbane Tens

by , 20 Jan 2017 Video

Two long-retired Wallabies will run out for the ACT Brumbies as wildcard players at the upcoming Brisbane Tens.

Women’s draw for 2017 Sydney Sevens announced

Women’s draw for 2017 Sydney Sevens announced

by , 19 Jan 2017

The women’s draw for the 2017 Sydney Sevens has been revealed, with Australia placed in a group which will hold few fears for the defending world and Olympic champions.

Super Rugby 2017 preview – Africa 2 conference

Super Rugby 2017 preview – Africa 2 conference

by , 19 Jan 2017

This week we will take a look at the Africa 2 Conference, arguably the more competitive of the African conferences.

What does the future hold for the Wallabies’ scrum?

What does the future hold for the Wallabies’ scrum?

by , 18 Jan 2017 Video

Historically, the set scrum has always been regarded as the Achilles heel of the Australian team in the Northern Hemisphere. For every ‘Topo’ Rodriguez, Andy McIntyre and Richard Harry Australia has produced, there have been two or three Matt Dunnings, Guy Shepherdsons and Al Baxters.

Football TV ratings for 2016

Football TV ratings for 2016

by , 18 Jan 2017

It’s that time of year when we review the Australian TV ratings for all the football codes for the previous year.

Reports: Aaron Cruden links with Montpellier on rich deal

Reports: Aaron Cruden links with Montpellier on rich deal

by , 18 Jan 2017

All Blacks five-eighth Aaron Cruden will pack his bags and head to Montpellier on a for the 2017/18 Top 14 season, according to reports from France.

Waratahs want Folau at ball-carrying best

Waratahs want Folau at ball-carrying best

by , 18 Jan 2017

NSW playmaker Bernard Foley has a simple plan for getting the best out of Israel Folau this Super Rugby season: give the game-breaking back the ball as often as possible.


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