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Tuesday, June 15, 2004

All Blacks v England, Eden Park Preview Extravaganza 

Thought I'd look at the AB's record at Eden Park and England's record in NZ etc before round two begins on Saturday.

Just quickly though, the 30 points the All Blacks scored in the first half against England last week was the 14th highest number of points we have ever scored in the first half of a test. Not quite up with the 84 scored against Japan in 1995 but not bad nonetheless. Especially when you consider it was our 382nd test match and played against the current World Champions.

Right so here are the stats that you may or may not be interested in.

New Zealand v England
P:26 W:19 D:1 L:6
For:552 Against:313
Winning Percent:73.08

AB's record at Eden Park
1920s 1 loss
1930s 2 wins, 1 loss
1940s 1 win, 1 loss
1950s 2 wins, 2 losses

so after four decades we had 5 wins and 5 losses. Hardly an invincible record now was it?!

1960s 7 wins (that's more like it!)
1970s 3 wins, 1 draw, 3 losses (back to the mediocre again)
1980s 12 wins, 1 loss
1990s 12 wins, 1 draw, 1 loss
2000s 4 wins

For a total of 43 wins, 2 draws and 10 losses.

It's been almost 10 years since the All Blacks last lost on Eden Park (remember that crazy French tour where they beat us in both tests?), 20-23 to France on July 3, 1994. We also drew the following year to South Africa on Eden Park 18-18. Since then it's been a run of 10 consecutive victories.

If the AB's win on Saturday it will tie their previous best winning streak at Eden Park of 11 tests between the 9-22 loss to Australia in 1986 and the aforementioned loss to France. Just think, if France hadn't pulled that one out of the place where the sun doesn't shine (no not Milford) the AB's could have been riding a 17 year, and 23 game unbeaten streak at the big mish-mashed, 'work the angles', home of rugby (time for cricket to find a different ground me thinks).

There's not really much to be gleaned from England in Eden Park test matches. They've played three, for 2 losses and a win. Going down 21-11 in 1963 (I remember it well, not), a 16-10 victory in 1973 (that would have been a dark day to be in Auckland) and a 40-10 drubbing a few years ago when they sent down a bunch of poodle's that wasted everybody's time.

In New Zealand they have played nine, won two and lost seven.

They have scored 111 points at 12.3 per test (no, not four penalties and part of a child you cynical bastard) while the AB's have scored 253 in the same tests at 28.1 (no that does not include 5 tries with 4 conversions either).

England have scored 13 test tries in NZ while the All Blacks have scored 32 against England in New Zealand. There was however a test (and this also illustrates my foul comments in the previous paragraph) where New Zealand kicked 6 penalties (thanks K.J Crowley) while England ran in two tries (18-13 win to NZ) in 1985. When the AB's lost to England in 1973 we were outscored 3 tries to 2 as well so just remember... shit does happen!

The top point scorer for the All Blacks against England all time is Andrew Mehrtens with 85 points from 7 tests. Grant Fox only played England once which gives you an idea of how recent our rivalry with England really kicked off. In that test Fox scored 14 points as NZ won 18-12 in the 1991 World Cup. I'll give you one guess who our top try scorer is/was against them. That's right me. No actually that would be the beer and wishful thinking. Jonah Tali Lomu scored eight tries in seven tests against the pearly whites, four in one game and ... well four in the other six.

And that's about it really. Feel free to verify my stats. I know you won't though so who knows? Maybe I made them all up!!! I've also played England in an unofficial test match in my head. I beat them 184 nil in a match which took a little over 3 minutes of my time.

Anyhow lets end on a mathematically created prediction for the final test:
England has only played a 'double header series' in NZ twice. Last time they lost 64-22 and 40-10, and we are in the middle of the second 'series' right now baby.

So using these results the AB's scored 62.5 percent of the points in the second test that they managed in the first.

If they repeat that they will score 23 points in the second test. Using the same formula for England (22 in the first and 10 in the second) they will score 1 point in the second test after rounding.

So New Zealand 23 England 1

hang on?

My pick, based on nothing whatsoever:

NZ 27 England 12

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