Bledisloe Cup

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 2020 for the 48th time (excluding the disputed inaugural competition in 1931), while Australia have won the trophy 12 times.

Bledisloe Cup
Bledisloe Cup on display in Sydney 2014.jpg
Bledisloe Cup on display in Sydney 2014.
SportRugby union
Instituted1932
Number of teams2
Country Australia
 New Zealand
Holders New Zealand (2020)
Most titles New Zealand (48 titles)

HistoryEdit

 
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 venuesEdit

Hong KongEdit

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]

JapanEdit

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 StatesEdit

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 proposalsEdit

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]

ResultsEdit

Year Date Venue Home Score Away Trophy
winner
  1932 2 July SCG, Sydney Australia   22–17   New Zealand  
16 July Exhibition Ground, Brisbane 3–21
23 July SCG, Sydney 13–21
  1934 11 August SCG, Sydney Australia   25–11   New Zealand  
25 August SCG, Sydney 3–3
  1936 5 September Athletic Park, Wellington New Zealand   11–6   Australia  
12 September Carisbrook, Dunedin 38–13
  1938 23 July SCG, Sydney Australia   9–24   New Zealand  
6 August Exhibition Ground, Brisbane 14–20
13 August SCG, Sydney 6–14
  1946 14 September Carisbrook, Dunedin New Zealand   31–8   Australia  
28 September Eden Park, Auckland 14–10
  1947 14 June Exhibition Ground, Brisbane Australia   5–13   New Zealand  
28 June SCG, Sydney 14–27
  1949 3 September Athletic Park, Wellington New Zealand   6–11   Australia  
24 September Eden Park, Auckland 9–16
  1951 23 June SCG, Sydney Australia   0–8   New Zealand  
7 July SCG, Sydney 11–17
21 July The Gabba, Brisbane 6–16
  1952 6 September Lancaster Park, Christchurch New Zealand   9–14   Australia Draw
13 September Athletic Park, Wellington 15–8
  1955 20 August Athletic Park, Wellington New Zealand   16–8   Australia  
3 September Carisbrook, Dunedin 8–0
17 September Eden Park, Auckland 3–8
  1957 25 May SCG, Sydney Australia   11–25   New Zealand  
1 June Exhibition Ground, Brisbane 9–22
  1958 23 August Athletic Park, Wellington New Zealand   25–3   Australia  
6 September Lancaster Park, Christchurch 3–6
20 September Epsom Showgrounds, Auckland 17–8
  1962 26 May Exhibition Ground, Brisbane Australia   6–20   New Zealand  
4 June SCG, Sydney 5–14
  1962 25 August Athletic Park, Wellington New Zealand   9–9   Australia  
8 September Carisbrook, Dunedin 3–0
22 September Eden Park, Auckland 16–8
  1964 15 August Carisbrook, Dunedin New Zealand   14–9   Australia  
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  
  1968 15 June SCG, Sydney Australia   11–27   New Zealand  
22 June Ballymore, Brisbane 18–19
  1972 19 August Athletic Park, Wellington New Zealand   29–6   Australia  
2 September Lancaster Park, Christchurch 30–17
16 September Eden Park, Auckland 38–3
  1974 25 May SCG, Sydney Australia   6–11   New Zealand  
1 June Ballymore, Brisbane 16–16
8 June SCG, Sydney 6–16
  1978 19 August Athletic Park, Wellington New Zealand   13–12   Australia  
26 August Lancaster Park, Christchurch 22–6
9 September Eden Park, Auckland 16–30
  1979 28 July SCG, Sydney Australia   12–6   New Zealand  
  1980 21 June SCG, Sydney Australia   13–9   New Zealand  
28 June Ballymore, Brisbane 9–12
12 July SCG, Sydney 26–10
  1982 14 August Lancaster Park, Christchurch New Zealand   23–16   Australia  
28 August Athletic Park, Wellington 16–19
11 September Eden Park, Auckland 33–18
  1983 20 August SCG, Sydney Australia   8–18   New Zealand  
  1984 21 July SCG, Sydney Australia   16–9   New Zealand  
4 August Ballymore, Brisbane 15–19
18 August SCG, Sydney 24–25
  1985 29 June Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand   10–9   Australia  
  1986 9 August Athletic Park, Wellington New Zealand   12–13   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  
  1988 3 July Concord Oval, Sydney Australia   7–32   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  
  1990 21 July Lancaster Park, Christchurch New Zealand   21–6   Australia  
4 August Eden Park, Auckland 27–17
18 August Athletic Park, Wellington 9–21
1991 10 August Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney Australia   21–12   New Zealand  
24 August Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand   6–3   Australia
  1992 4 July Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney Australia   16–15   New Zealand  
19 July Ballymore, Brisbane 19–17
25 July Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney 23–26
  1993 17 July Carisbrook, Dunedin New Zealand   25–10   Australia  
  1994 17 August Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney Australia   20–16   New Zealand  
1995 22 July Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand   28–16   Australia  
29 July Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney Australia   23–34   New Zealand
1996 6 July Athletic Park, Wellington New Zealand   43–6   Australia  
27 July Lang Park, Brisbane Australia   25–32   New Zealand
1997 5 July Lancaster Park, Christchurch New Zealand   30–13   Australia  
26 July MCG, Melbourne Australia   18–33   New Zealand
16 August Carisbrook, Dunedin New Zealand   36–24   Australia
1998 11 July MCG, Melbourne Australia   24–16   New Zealand  
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  
28 August Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia   28–7   New Zealand
2000 15 July Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia   35–39   New Zealand  
5 August Westpac Stadium, Wellington New Zealand   23–24   Australia
2001 11 August Carisbrook, Dunedin New Zealand   15–23   Australia  
1 September Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia   29–26   New Zealand
2002 13 July Lancaster Park, Christchurch New Zealand   12–6   Australia  
3 August Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia   16–14   New Zealand
2003 26 July Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia   21–50   New Zealand  
16 August Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand   21–17   Australia
2004 17 July Westpac Stadium, Wellington New Zealand   16–7   Australia  
7 August Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia   23–18   New Zealand
2005 13 August Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia   13–30   New Zealand  
3 September Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand   34–24   Australia
2006 8 July Lancaster Park, Christchurch New Zealand   32–12   Australia  
29 July Lang Park, Brisbane Australia   9–13   New Zealand
19 August Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand   34–27   Australia
2007 30 June MCG, Melbourne Australia   20–15   New Zealand  
21 July Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand   26–12   Australia
2008 26 July Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia   34–19   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  
22 August Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia   18–19   New Zealand
19 September Westpac 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  
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  
27 August Lang Park, Brisbane Australia   25–20   New Zealand
2012 18 August Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia   19–27   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  
24 August Westpac 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  
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  
15 August Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand   41–13   Australia
2016 20 August Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia   8–42   New Zealand  
27 August Westpac 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  
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  
25 August Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand   40–12   Australia
27 October Nissan Stadium, Yokohama New Zealand   37–20   Australia
2019 10 August Optus Stadium, Perth Australia   47–26   New Zealand  
17 August Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand   36–0   Australia
2020[10] 11 October[a] Sky Stadium, Wellington New Zealand   16–16   Australia  
18 October[b] 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

OverallEdit

Series/Trophy winsEdit

Won by   Australia Won by   New Zealand
12[c] 48[d]

Most titles won:

  1. New Zealand - 48 (+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: 2020

MatchesEdit

Venue Played Won by Drawn Total points
  Australia   New Zealand Australia NZ
  Australia 71 22 44 5 1209 1559
  New Zealand 72 14 56 2 918 1648
Neutral venue 4 1 3 0 79 112
Overall 147 37 103 7 2206 3319

As of: 31 Oct, 2020

VenuesEdit

In AustraliaEdit

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 11 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 44 5

In New ZealandEdit

Stadium City Island Won by
  New Zealand
Won by
  Australia
Draw
Eden Park Auckland North 25 4 0
Epsom Showgrounds 1 0 0
Athletic Park Wellington North 8 5 1
Wellington Regional Stadium 4 1 1
Carisbrook Dunedin South 8 1 0
Forsyth Barr Stadium 2 0 0
Lancaster Park Christchurch South 9 3 0
57 14 1

By yearEdit

Women's formatEdit

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 coverageEdit

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 alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Postponed from 8 August 2020.
  2. ^ Postponed from 15 August 2020.
  3. ^ The Series' won by Australia were in 1934, 1949, 1979, 1980, 1986, 1992, 1994, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2002.
  4. ^ The Series' won by New Zealand took place in 1932, 1936, 1938, 1946, 1947, 1951, 1955, 1957, 1958, Summer 1962, Autumn 1962, 1964, 1967, 1968, 1972, 1974, 1978, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.
  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. ^ "2020 Bledisloe Cup fixtures & draw". The Roar. Retrieved 28 September 2020.
  11. ^ "Bledisloe Cup Japan fixture could suffer after All Blacks win series". ESPN Scrum. 27 August 2018. Retrieved 6 February 2019.