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
Instituted1931
Number of teams2
Country Australia
 New Zealand
Holders New Zealand (2019)
Most titles New Zealand (48 titles)

The Bledisloe Cup is a rugby union competition between the national teams of Australia and New Zealand that has been contested since the 1930s. The frequency at which the competition is held has varied, as has the number of matches played, 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 also counting towards The Rugby Championship. New Zealand have had the most success, winning the trophy in 2019 for the 47th time (excluding the disputed inaugural competition in 1931), while Australia have won the trophy 12 times.

History[edit]

Bledisloe Cup Festival Day 2014 in Sydney

There is some dispute as to when the first Bledisloe Cup match was played. The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) contend that the one-off 1931 match played at Eden Park was first. However, no firm evidence has been produced to support this claim, and it 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 to play for. 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 19 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 11 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]

It was announced in 2008 that the Bledisloe Cup would be contested over an unprecedented four matches, with three games 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 to be 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 USA 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
2020[10] 14 November[a] Sky Stadium, Wellington New Zealand   Australia
7 November[b] TBD[c] Australia   New Zealand
17 October Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane Australia   New Zealand
2019 17 August Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand  36–0  Australia New Zealand
10 August Optus Stadium, Perth Australia  47–26  New Zealand
2018 27 October Nissan Stadium, Yokohama New Zealand  37–20  Australia New Zealand
25 August Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand  40–12  Australia
18 August Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia  13–38  New Zealand
2017 21 October Lang Park, Brisbane Australia  23–18  New Zealand New Zealand
26 August Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin New Zealand  35–29  Australia
19 August Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia  34–54  New Zealand
2016 22 October Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand  37–10  Australia New Zealand
27 August Westpac Stadium, Wellington New Zealand  29–9  Australia
20 August Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia  8–42  New Zealand
2015 15 August Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand  41–13  Australia New Zealand
8 August Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia  27–19  New Zealand
2014 18 October Lang Park, Brisbane Australia  28–29  New Zealand New Zealand
23 August Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand  51–20  Australia
16 August Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia  12–12  New Zealand
2013 19 October Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin New Zealand  41–33  Australia New Zealand
24 August Westpac Stadium, Wellington New Zealand  27–16  Australia
17 August Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia  29–47  New Zealand
2012 20 October Lang Park, Brisbane Australia  18–18  New Zealand New Zealand
25 August Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand  22–0  Australia
18 August Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia  19–27  New Zealand
2011 27 August Lang Park, Brisbane Australia  25–20  New Zealand New Zealand
6 August Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand  30–14  Australia
2010 30 October Hong Kong Stadium, Hong Kong Australia  26–24  New Zealand New Zealand
11 September Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia  22–23  New Zealand
7 August Lancaster Park, Christchurch New Zealand  20–10  Australia
31 July Docklands Stadium, Melbourne Australia  28–49  New Zealand
2009 31 October National Stadium, Tokyo New Zealand  32–19  Australia New Zealand
19 September Westpac Stadium, Wellington New Zealand  33–6  Australia
22 August Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia  18–19  New Zealand
18 July Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand  22–16  Australia
2008 1 November Hong Kong Stadium, Hong Kong New Zealand  19–14  Australia New Zealand
13 September Lang Park, Brisbane Australia  24–28  New Zealand
2 August Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand  39–10  Australia
26 July Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia  34–19  New Zealand
2007 21 July Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand  26–12  Australia New Zealand
30 June MCG, Melbourne Australia  20–15  New Zealand
2006 19 August Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand  34–27  Australia New Zealand
29 July Lang Park, Brisbane Australia  9–13  New Zealand
8 July Lancaster Park, Christchurch New Zealand  32–12  Australia
2005 3 September Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand  34–24  Australia New Zealand
13 August Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia  13–30  New Zealand
2004 7 August Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia  23–18  New Zealand New Zealand
17 July Westpac Stadium, Wellington New Zealand  16–7  Australia
2003 16 August Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand  21–17  Australia New Zealand
26 July Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia  21–50  New Zealand
2002 3 August Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia  16–14  New Zealand Australia
13 July Lancaster Park, Christchurch New Zealand  12–6  Australia
2001 1 September Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia  29–26  New Zealand Australia
11 August Carisbrook, Dunedin New Zealand  15–23  Australia
2000 5 August Westpac Stadium, Wellington New Zealand  23–24  Australia Australia
15 July Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia  35–39  New Zealand
1999 28 August Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia  28–7  New Zealand Australia
24 July Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand  34–15  Australia
1998 29 August Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney Australia  19–14  New Zealand Australia
1 August Lancaster Park, Christchurch New Zealand  23–27  Australia
11 July MCG, Melbourne Australia  24–16  New Zealand
1997 16 August Carisbrook, Dunedin New Zealand  36–24  Australia New Zealand
26 July MCG, Melbourne Australia  18–33  New Zealand
5 July Lancaster Park, Christchurch New Zealand  30–13  Australia
1996 27 July Lang Park, Brisbane Australia  25–32  New Zealand New Zealand
6 July Athletic Park, Wellington New Zealand  43–6  Australia
1995 29 July Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney Australia  23–34  New Zealand New Zealand
22 July Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand  28–16  Australia
Australia 1994 17 August Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney Australia  20–16  New Zealand Australia
New Zealand 1993 17 July Carisbrook, Dunedin New Zealand  25–10  Australia New Zealand
Australia 1992 25 July Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney Australia  23–26  New Zealand Australia
19 July Ballymore, Brisbane 19–17
4 July Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney 16–15
1991 24 August Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand  6–3  Australia New Zealand
10 August Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney Australia  21–12  New Zealand
New Zealand 1990 18 August Athletic Park, Wellington New Zealand  9–21  Australia New Zealand
4 August Eden Park, Auckland 27–17
21 July Lancaster Park, Christchurch 21–6
New Zealand 1989 5 August Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand  24–12  Australia New Zealand
Australia 1988 30 July Concord Oval, Sydney Australia  9–30  New Zealand New Zealand
16 July Ballymore, Brisbane 19–19
3 July Concord Oval, Sydney 7–32
Australia 1987 25 July Concord Oval, Sydney Australia  16–30  New Zealand New Zealand
New Zealand 1986 6 September Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand  9–22  Australia Australia
23 August Carisbrook, Dunedin 13–12
9 August Athletic Park, Wellington 12–13
New Zealand 1985 29 June Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand  10–9  Australia New Zealand
Australia 1984 18 August SCG, Sydney Australia  24–25  New Zealand New Zealand
4 August Ballymore, Brisbane 15–19
21 July SCG, Sydney 16–9
Australia 1983 20 August SCG, Sydney Australia  8–18  New Zealand New Zealand
New Zealand 1982 11 September Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand  33–18  Australia New Zealand
28 August Athletic Park, Wellington 16–19
14 August Lancaster Park, Christchurch 23–16
Australia 1980 12 July SCG, Sydney Australia  26–10  New Zealand Australia
28 June Ballymore, Brisbane 9–12
21 June SCG, Sydney 13–9
Australia 1979 28 July SCG, Sydney Australia  12–6  New Zealand Australia
New Zealand 1978 9 September Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand  16–30  Australia New Zealand
26 August Lancaster Park, Christchurch 22–6
19 August Athletic Park, Wellington 13–12
Australia 1974 8 June SCG, Sydney Australia  6–16  New Zealand New Zealand
1 June Ballymore, Brisbane 16–16
25 May SCG, Sydney 6–11
New Zealand 1972 16 September Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand  38–3  Australia New Zealand
2 September Lancaster Park, Christchurch 30–17
19 August Athletic Park, Wellington 29–6
Australia 1968 22 June Ballymore, Brisbane Australia  18–19  New Zealand New Zealand
15 June SCG, Sydney 11–27
New Zealand 1967 19 August Athletic Park, Wellington New Zealand  29–9  Australia New Zealand
New Zealand 1964 29 August Athletic Park, Wellington New Zealand  5–20  Australia New Zealand
22 August Lancaster Park, Christchurch 18–3
15 August Carisbrook, Dunedin 14–9
New Zealand 1962 22 September Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand  16–8  Australia New Zealand
8 September Carisbrook, Dunedin 3–0
25 August Athletic Park, Wellington 9–9
Australia 1962 4 June SCG, Sydney Australia  5–14  New Zealand New Zealand
26 May Exhibition Ground, Brisbane 6–20
New Zealand 1958 20 September Epsom Showgrounds, Auckland New Zealand  17–8  Australia New Zealand
6 September Lancaster Park, Christchurch 3–6
23 August Athletic Park, Wellington 25–3
Australia 1957 1 June Exhibition Ground, Brisbane Australia  9–22  New Zealand New Zealand
25 May SCG, Sydney 11–25
New Zealand 1955 17 September Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand  3–8  Australia New Zealand
3 September Carisbrook, Dunedin 8–0
20 August Athletic Park, Wellington 16–8
New Zealand 1952 13 September Athletic Park, Wellington New Zealand  15–8  Australia Draw
6 September Lancaster Park, Christchurch 9–14
Australia 1951 21 July The Gabba, Brisbane Australia  6–16  New Zealand New Zealand
7 July SCG, Sydney 11–17
23 June SCG, Sydney 0–8
New Zealand 1949 24 September Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand  9–16  Australia Australia
3 September Athletic Park, Wellington 6–11
Australia 1947 28 June SCG, Sydney Australia  14–27  New Zealand New Zealand
14 June Exhibition Ground, Brisbane 5–13
New Zealand 1946 28 September Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand  14–10  Australia New Zealand
14 September Carisbrook, Dunedin 31–8
Australia 1938 13 August SCG, Sydney Australia  6–14  New Zealand New Zealand
6 August Exhibition Ground, Brisbane 14–20
23 July SCG, Sydney 9–24
New Zealand 1936 12 September Carisbrook, Dunedin New Zealand  38–13  Australia New Zealand
5 September Athletic Park, Wellington 11–6
Australia 1934 25 August SCG, Sydney Australia  3–3  New Zealand Australia
11 August SCG, Sydney 25–11
Australia 1932 23 July SCG, Sydney Australia  13–21  New Zealand New Zealand
16 July Exhibition Ground, Brisbane 3–21
2 July SCG, Sydney 22–17

Overall[edit]

Most titles won:

  1. New Zealand - 47 (+1 in 1931)
  2. Australia - 12

Longest time held by Australia: 5 years (1998–2002) (5 Titles)

Longest time held by New Zealand: 28 years (1951–1978) (12 Titles)

Home Series Wins:

  1. New Zealand - 15
  2. Australia - 5

Away Series Wins:

  1. New Zealand - 12
  2. Australia - 2

Home and Away Series Wins:

  1. New Zealand - 21
  2. Australia - 5

As of: 2019

Matches[edit]

Venue Played Won by Drawn Total points
 Australia  New Zealand Australia NZ
Australia Australia 70 22 43 5 1204 1516
New Zealand New Zealand 70 14 55 1 895 1605
Neutral venue 4 1 3 0 79 112
Overall 144 37 101 6 2178 3233

As of: Aug 17, 2019

Venues[edit]

In Australia[edit]

Stadium City State Won by
 Australia
Won by
 New Zealand
Draw
Sydney Cricket Ground Sydney  New South Wales 6 13 1
Concord Oval 0 3 0
Sydney Football Stadium 4 2 0
Stadium Australia 6 10 1
Brisbane Exhibition Ground Brisbane  Queensland 0 5 0
The Gabba 0 1 0
Ballymore Stadium 1 3 2
Lang Park 2 4 1
Melbourne Cricket Ground Melbourne  Victoria 2 1 0
Docklands Stadium 0 1 0
Perth Stadium Perth  Western Australia 1 0 0
22 43 5

In New Zealand[edit]

Stadium City Island Won by
 New Zealand
Won by
 Australia
Draw
Eden Park Auckland North 24 4 0
Epsom Showgrounds 1 0 0
Athletic Park Wellington North 8 5 1
Wellington Regional Stadium 4 1 0
Carisbrook Dunedin South 8 1 0
Forsyth Barr Stadium 2 0 0
Lancaster Park Christchurch South 9 3 0
56 14 1

By year[edit]

Women's format[edit]

In 2018 edition, Black Ferns and Wallaroos played Tests as curtain-raisers to both Bledisloe Cup Tests in Sydney and Auckland. The crowd at the end of both women's Tests swelled to about 28,000. The women's double-header concept was deemed as a success by NZR CEO Steve Tew who is open to repeating the concept. For the equivalent match at Eden Park in 2016, also before the men's clash, the crowd size peaked at 12,500.[11]

Media coverage[edit]

In Australia, the Bledisloe Cup was televised between 1992 and 1995 by Network Ten. Since 1996, Fox Sports has televised it jointly with Seven Network between 1996 and 2010, Nine Network in 2011 and 2012 and Network Ten since 2013.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Postponed from 15 August 2020.
  2. ^ Postponed from 8 August 2020.
  3. ^ All tournament matches held in New Zealand.
  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.
  10. ^ "Wallabies to return to Perth in 2020, 2021". www.rugby.com.au. 30 January 2020. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
  11. ^ "Bledisloe Cup Japan fixture could suffer after All Blacks win series". ESPN Scrum. 27 August 2018. Retrieved 6 February 2019.