Bledisloe Cup

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Bledisloe Cup
Bledisloe Cup on display in Sydney 2014.jpg
Bledisloe Cup on display in Sydney 2014.
SportRugby union
Instituted1932; 90 years ago (1932)
Number of teams2
Country Australia
 New Zealand
Holders New Zealand (2022)
Most titles New Zealand (50 titles)

The Bledisloe Cup is an annual rugby union competition originally staged between the national teams of Australia's Wallabies and New Zealand's All Blacks that has been contested since the 1930s. The frequency that the competition is held has varied, as has the number of matches played in each tournament, but it currently consists of an annual three-match series, reduced to a two-match series in World Cup years, with two of the matches counting towards The Rugby Championship. New Zealand have had the most success, winning the trophy in 2022 for the 50th time (excluding the disputed inaugural competition in 1931), while Australia have won the trophy 12 times.

History[edit]

Semantics plays a role in the issue when was the inaugural Bledisloe Cup match played. The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) contend that the one-off 1931 match played at Eden Park was first. The only record of a match taking place is recorded in the minutes of a New Zealand union management meeting several days later that Lord Bledisloe wished to present a cup for the All Blacks and Wallabies competition. The New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) believe that the first match was when New Zealand toured Australia in 1932.

Between 1931 and 1981, the Bledisloe Cup was contested irregularly in the course of rugby tours between the two countries, with New Zealand winning it nineteen times and Australia four times. In 1949, Australia won the competition for the first time on New Zealand soil. The trophy itself was apparently 'lost' during this period and reportedly rediscovered in a Melbourne store room. It was contested annually from 1982 to 1995, sometimes as a series of three matches (two in 1995) and other times in a single match. During these years, New Zealand won the trophy eleven times and Australia three times.

Since 1996, the cup has been contested as part of the annual Tri Nations tournament. Until 1998, the cup was contested in a three-match series consisting of the two Tri Nations matches between the two sides and a third match. New Zealand won the series in 1996 and 1997, and Australia won it in 1998.

In 1996, and from 1999 through 2005, the third match was not played; during these years, Australia and New Zealand played each other twice as part of the Tri Nations for the cup. If the two teams won one game each, or if both games were drawn, the cup was retained by its current holder. The non-holder needed to win the two games 2–0 or 1–0 (with a draw) to regain the cup. A criticism of this system was that, with the two sides being very well matched in ability level, it was very common for the teams to win one game each and many rugby fans were dissatisfied with one team keeping the cup in the years when the series was tied at 1–1 (1999, 2000, 2002, 2004).

In 2006, the Tri Nations series was extended so that each team played each other three times, meaning a return of the three-game contest for the Bledisloe Cup. However, the cup reverted to the two-game contest in 2007 because the Tri Nations was abbreviated that year to minimise interference with the teams' preparations for the World Cup.

The three-match format for the Bledisloe Cup continued in 2012, with the first two matches taking place as part of the 2012 Rugby Championship.

Neutral venues[edit]

Hong Kong[edit]

In 2008 the Bledisloe Cup was contested over an unprecedented four matches, with three games each played in Australia and New Zealand, followed by a fourth (and potentially deciding) game in Hong Kong, in an effort to promote the game in Asia. This was the first time Australia and New Zealand had played in a third country outside the Rugby World Cup.[1] The Hong Kong match drew a crowd of 39,000 to see the All Blacks defeat the Wallabies 19–14 (despite New Zealand having already won the Bledisloe Cup for 2008),[2] generating a reported £5.5 million and proving to be a financial success for the two unions.[3] A fourth match was again set in Hong Kong in 2010, but failed to attract sufficient ticket sales.[4]

Japan[edit]

The capital Tokyo hosted a fourth Bledisloe Test match on 31 October 2009. Each team expected to clear at least A$3.8 million/NZ$5 million from the Tokyo match.[5]

On 27 October 2018, Bledisloe Cup returned to Japan for the second time and was hosted in Yokohama with the purpose of promoting and preparing for 2019 Rugby World Cup.[6] All Blacks beating Wallabies 37–20 in the third test to sweep the series. The attendance figures was around 46,000 which became the record for a rugby test match in Japan.[7] The relatively poor ticket sales included about 10% arrived via giveaways because of clashing with the fixture between Japan and World XV a day before in Osaka and lack of competitiveness of Wallabies contributing to dead rubber match of the series.[8]

United States[edit]

Before the first match in Hong Kong, the two countries' rugby federations were considering taking Cup matches to the United States and Japan in 2009 and 2010. However, the proposed match in the United States did not come to fruition.

Future proposals[edit]

Behind the push from World Rugby with their League of Nations concept, only one match result would count for League of Nations points but the new season schedule must be able to accommodate a second Test each year in the new format. The gate receipts from Bledisloe Cup match ups are critical to both Rugby Australia and New Zealand Rugby Union and both nations are firm in their belief that one home match is mandatory. The third Bledisloe, which has long been a cash cow for both nations, could cease to exist. Any cash lost from forfeiting that match would be compensated by A$18 million per year in League of Nations broadcast revenue.[9]

Results[edit]

Year Date Venue Home Score Away Trophy
winner
1932[a] 2 July Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney Australia  22–17  New Zealand New Zealand
16 July Exhibition Ground, Brisbane 3–21
23 July Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney 13–21
1934[a] 11 August Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney Australia  25–11  New Zealand Australia
25 August Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney 3–3
1936[a] 5 September Athletic Park, Wellington New Zealand  11–6  Australia New Zealand
12 September Carisbrook, Dunedin 38–13
1938[a] 23 July Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney Australia  9–24  New Zealand New Zealand
6 August Exhibition Ground, Brisbane 14–20
13 August Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney 6–14
1946[a] 14 September Carisbrook, Dunedin New Zealand  31–8  Australia New Zealand
28 September Eden Park, Auckland 14–10
1947[a] 14 June Exhibition Ground, Brisbane Australia  5–13  New Zealand New Zealand
28 June Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney 14–27
1949[a] 3 September Athletic Park, Wellington New Zealand  6–11  Australia Australia
24 September Eden Park, Auckland 9–16
1951[a] 23 June Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney Australia  0–8  New Zealand New Zealand
7 July Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney 11–17
21 July The Gabba, Brisbane 6–16
1952[a] 6 September Lancaster Park, Christchurch New Zealand  9–14  Australia Draw
13 September Athletic Park, Wellington 15–8
1955[a] 20 August Athletic Park, Wellington New Zealand  16–8  Australia New Zealand
3 September Carisbrook, Dunedin 8–0
17 September Eden Park, Auckland 3–8
1957[a] 25 May Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney Australia  11–25  New Zealand New Zealand
1 June Exhibition Ground, Brisbane 9–22
1958[a] 23 August Athletic Park, Wellington New Zealand  25–3  Australia New Zealand
6 September Lancaster Park, Christchurch 3–6
20 September Epsom Showgrounds, Auckland 17–8
1962[b] 26 May Exhibition Ground, Brisbane Australia  6–20  New Zealand New Zealand
4 June Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney 5–14
1962[c] 25 August Athletic Park, Wellington New Zealand  9–9  Australia New Zealand
8 September Carisbrook, Dunedin 3–0
22 September Eden Park, Auckland 16–8
1964[a] 15 August Carisbrook, Dunedin New Zealand  14–9  Australia New Zealand
22 August Lancaster Park, Christchurch 18–3
29 August Athletic Park, Wellington 5–20
1967 19 August Athletic Park, Wellington New Zealand  29–9  Australia New Zealand
1968[a] 15 June Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney Australia  11–27  New Zealand New Zealand
22 June Ballymore, Brisbane 18–19
1972[a] 19 August Athletic Park, Wellington New Zealand  29–6  Australia New Zealand
2 September Lancaster Park, Christchurch 30–17
16 September Eden Park, Auckland 38–3
1974[a] 25 May Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney Australia  6–11  New Zealand New Zealand
1 June Ballymore, Brisbane 16–16
8 June Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney 6–16
1978[a] 19 August Athletic Park, Wellington New Zealand  13–12  Australia New Zealand
26 August Lancaster Park, Christchurch 22–6
9 September Eden Park, Auckland 16–30
1979[a] 28 July Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney Australia  12–6  New Zealand Australia
1980[a] 21 June Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney Australia  13–9  New Zealand Australia
28 June Ballymore, Brisbane 9–12
12 July Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney 26–10
1982[a] 14 August Lancaster Park, Christchurch New Zealand  23–16  Australia New Zealand
28 August Athletic Park, Wellington 16–19
11 September Eden Park, Auckland 33–18
1983 20 August Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney Australia  8–18  New Zealand New Zealand
1984[a] 21 July Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney Australia  16–9  New Zealand New Zealand
4 August Ballymore, Brisbane 15–19
18 August Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney 24–25
1985 29 June Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand  10–9  Australia New Zealand
1986[a] 9 August Athletic Park, Wellington New Zealand  12–13  Australia Australia
23 August Carisbrook, Dunedin 13–12
6 September Eden Park, Auckland 9–22
1987 25 July Concord Oval, Sydney Australia  16–30  New Zealand New Zealand
1988[a] 3 July Concord Oval, Sydney Australia  7–32  New Zealand New Zealand
16 July Ballymore, Brisbane 19–19
30 July Concord Oval, Sydney 9–30
1989 5 August Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand  24–12  Australia New Zealand
1990[a] 21 July Lancaster Park, Christchurch New Zealand  21–6  Australia New Zealand
4 August Eden Park, Auckland 27–17
18 August Athletic Park, Wellington 9–21
1991[a] 10 August Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney Australia  21–12  New Zealand New Zealand
24 August Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand  6–3  Australia
1992[a] 4 July Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney Australia  16–15  New Zealand Australia
19 July Ballymore, Brisbane 19–17
25 July Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney 23–26
1993 17 July Carisbrook, Dunedin New Zealand  25–10  Australia New Zealand
1994 17 August Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney Australia  20–16  New Zealand Australia
1995 22 July Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand  28–16  Australia New Zealand
29 July Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney Australia  23–34  New Zealand
1996 6 July Athletic Park, Wellington New Zealand  43–6  Australia New Zealand
27 July Lang Park, Brisbane Australia  25–32  New Zealand
1997 5 July Lancaster Park, Christchurch New Zealand  30–13  Australia New Zealand
26 July Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne Australia  18–33  New Zealand
16 August Carisbrook, Dunedin New Zealand  36–24  Australia
1998 11 July Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne Australia  24–16  New Zealand Australia
1 August Lancaster Park, Christchurch New Zealand  23–27  Australia
29 August Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney Australia  19–14  New Zealand
1999 24 July Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand  34–15  Australia Australia
28 August Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia  28–7  New Zealand
2000 15 July Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia  35–39  New Zealand Australia
5 August Wellington Regional Stadium, Wellington New Zealand  23–24  Australia
2001 11 August Carisbrook, Dunedin New Zealand  15–23  Australia Australia
1 September Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia  29–26  New Zealand
2002 13 July Lancaster Park, Christchurch New Zealand  12–6  Australia Australia
3 August Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia  16–14  New Zealand
2003 26 July Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia  21–50  New Zealand New Zealand
16 August Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand  21–17  Australia
2004 17 July Wellington Regional Stadium, Wellington New Zealand  16–7  Australia New Zealand
7 August Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia  23–18  New Zealand
2005 13 August Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia  13–30  New Zealand New Zealand
3 September Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand  34–24  Australia
2006 8 July Lancaster Park, Christchurch New Zealand  32–12  Australia New Zealand
29 July Lang Park, Brisbane Australia  9–13  New Zealand
19 August Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand  34–27  Australia
2007 30 June Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne Australia  20–15  New Zealand New Zealand
21 July Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand  26–12  Australia
2008 26 July Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia  34–19  New Zealand New Zealand
2 August Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand  39–10  Australia
13 September Lang Park, Brisbane Australia  24–28  New Zealand
1 November Hong Kong Stadium, Hong Kong New Zealand  19–14  Australia
2009 18 July Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand  22–16  Australia New Zealand
22 August Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia  18–19  New Zealand
19 September Wellington Regional Stadium, Wellington New Zealand  33–6  Australia
31 October National Stadium, Tokyo New Zealand  32–19  Australia
2010 31 July Docklands Stadium, Melbourne Australia  28–49  New Zealand New Zealand
7 August Lancaster Park, Christchurch New Zealand  20–10  Australia
11 September Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia  22–23  New Zealand
30 October Hong Kong Stadium, Hong Kong Australia  26–24  New Zealand
2011 6 August Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand  30–14  Australia New Zealand
27 August Lang Park, Brisbane Australia  25–20  New Zealand
2012 18 August Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia  19–27  New Zealand New Zealand
25 August Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand  22–0  Australia
20 October Lang Park, Brisbane Australia  18–18  New Zealand
2013 17 August Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia  29–47  New Zealand New Zealand
24 August Wellington Regional Stadium, Wellington New Zealand  27–16  Australia
19 October Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin New Zealand  41–33  Australia
2014 16 August Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia  12–12  New Zealand New Zealand
23 August Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand  51–20  Australia
18 October Lang Park, Brisbane Australia  28–29  New Zealand
2015 8 August Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia  27–19  New Zealand New Zealand
15 August Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand  41–13  Australia
2016 20 August Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia  8–42  New Zealand New Zealand
27 August Wellington Regional Stadium, Wellington New Zealand  29–9  Australia
22 October Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand  37–10  Australia
2017 19 August Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia  34–54  New Zealand New Zealand
26 August Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin New Zealand  35–29  Australia
21 October Lang Park, Brisbane Australia  23–18  New Zealand
2018 18 August Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia  13–38  New Zealand New Zealand
25 August Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand  40–12  Australia
27 October Nissan Stadium, Yokohama New Zealand  37–20  Australia
2019 10 August Perth Stadium, Perth Australia  47–26  New Zealand New Zealand
17 August Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand  36–0  Australia
2020 11 October[d] Wellington Regional Stadium, Wellington New Zealand  16–16  Australia New Zealand
18 October[e] Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand  27–7  Australia
31 October Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia  5–43  New Zealand
7 November Lang Park, Brisbane Australia  24–22  New Zealand
2021 7 August[f] Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand  33–25  Australia New Zealand
14 August[f] Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand  57–22  Australia
5 September Perth Stadium, Perth Australia  21–38  New Zealand
2022 15 September Docklands Stadium, Melbourne Australia  37–39  New Zealand New Zealand
24 September Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand  40-14  Australia

Matches[edit]

Match stats[edit]

As of 5 September 2021

Venues[edit]

Media coverage[edit]

In Australia, the Bledisloe Cup was televised between 1992 and 1995 by Network Ten. Since 1996, paid service Fox Sports has televised it jointly with (free to air) Seven Network between 1996 and 2010, Nine Network (2011–2012), Network Ten (2013–2020) and Nine Network in 2021.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z Tour series.
  2. ^ New Zealand tour of Australia, Autumn/Winter 1962.
  3. ^ Australian tour of New Zealand, Winter/Spring 1962.
  4. ^ Postponed from 8 August 2020.
  5. ^ Postponed from 15 August 2020.
  6. ^ a b Two tests were played at Eden Park due to COVID-19
  7. ^ Post-1994, both sides have consistently played series matches on a home/away basis, with an occasional neutral venue.
  8. ^ Includes the series' where the venues were played at home, away and/or a neutral venue.
  9. ^ Does not include the 12 September 1931 "one-off" test match at Eden Park, Auckland.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Hong Kong to host NZ v Australia". BBC Sport. 3 March 2008. Retrieved 3 March 2008.
  2. ^ "Australia 14–19 New Zealand". BBC Sport. 1 November 2008. Retrieved 8 November 2008.
  3. ^ "US & Japan may host Bledisloe Cup". BBC Sport. 31 October 2008. Retrieved 8 November 2008.
  4. ^ "Rugby: Bledisloe test locked in for Hong Kong". Otago Daily Times. 13 September 2010. Retrieved 20 September 2011.
  5. ^ AAP (1 July 2009). "Wallabies to take on All Blacks in Tokyo". The Roar. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  6. ^ "Rugby: NZ beats Australia 37–20 to sweep Bledisloe Cup series". Mainichi. 28 October 2018. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  7. ^ "Rugby: Japan 'special' venue for World Cup, All Blacks captain says". Kyodo News. 27 October 2018. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  8. ^ "Capacity crowd not expected for Bledisloe Cup test". Japan Times. 26 October 2018. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  9. ^ Phillips, Sam (5 February 2019). "Rugby Championship change likely as World League talks gain steam". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 6 February 2019.