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The Bledisloe Cup is a rugby union competition between the national teams of Australia and New Zealand that has been competed for since the 1930s. The frequency at which the competition has been held and the number of matches played has varied, but as of 2016, it consists of an annual three-match series, with two of the matches also counting towards The Rugby Championship. New Zealand have had the most success, winning the trophy for the 48th time in 2019, while Australia have won 12 times.

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
Most titles New Zealand (48 titles)

Contents

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 minutes from a New Zealand union management meeting several days later record Lord Bledisloe wishing 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 it was contested irregularly in the course of rugby tours between the two countries. New Zealand won it 19 times and Australia four times in this period including in 1949 when Australia won it 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. In the years 1982 to 1995 it was contested annually, sometimes as a series of three matches (two in 1995) and other times in a single match. During these years New Zealand won it 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: the two Tri Nations matches between these sides and a third match. New Zealand won these 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 those years, Australia and New Zealand played each other twice as part of the Tri Nations for the cup. If both teams won one of these games, or if both games were drawn, the cup was retained by its current holder. The non-holder had 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 closeness in the level of ability between the two sides, years where each team won one game each were very common (1999, 2000, 2002, 2004) and in these years, many rugby fans felt dissatisfied with one team keeping the cup in a series tied at 1–1.

2006 saw the return of the 3-game contest for the Bledisloe Cup as the Tri Nations series was extended so that each team played each other 3 times. The 2007 Cup, however, reverted to the two-game contest 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

In 2008 it was announced that the Bledisloe Cup would be contested over an unprecedented four matches, with three games played in Australia and New Zealand and a fourth and potentially deciding game in Hong Kong in an effort to promote the game in Asia (the first time Australia and New Zealand played in a third country outside the Rugby World Cup).[1] The Hong Kong match, which drew a crowd of 39,000 to see the All Blacks (which had already clinched the Bledisloe Cup) defeat the Wallabies 19–14,[2] proved to be a financial success for the two unions, generating a reported £5.5 million.[3] A 2010 fourth match was again set in Hong Kong Stadium 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 USA 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]

MatchesEdit

Venue Played Won by Drawn Total points
  Australia   New Zealand Australia NZ
  Australia 69 21 43 5 1157 1490
  New Zealand 69 14 55 1 893 1569
Neutral venue 4 1 3 0 79 112
Overall 143 36 101 6 2124 3171

ResultsEdit

Year Date Venue Home Score Away Trophy
Winner
2019 17 August Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand   36–0   Australia  
10 August Optus Stadium, Perth Australia   47–26   New Zealand
2018 27 October Nissan Stadium, Yokohama New Zealand   37–20   Australia  
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  
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  
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  
8 August Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia   27–19   New Zealand
2014 18 October Lang Park, Brisbane Australia   28–29   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  
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  
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  
6 August Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand   30–14   Australia
2010 30 October Hong Kong Stadium, Hong Kong Australia   26–24   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  
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  
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  
30 June MCG, Melbourne Australia   20–15   New Zealand
2006 19 August Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand   34–27   Australia  
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  
13 August Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia   13–30   New Zealand
2004 7 August Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia   23–18   New Zealand  
17 July Westpac Stadium, Wellington New Zealand   16–7   Australia
2003 16 August Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand   21–17   Australia  
26 July Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia   21–50   New Zealand
2002 3 August Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia   16–14   New Zealand  
13 July Lancaster Park, Christchurch New Zealand   12–6   Australia
2001 1 September Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia   29–26   New Zealand  
11 August Carisbrook, Dunedin New Zealand   15–23   Australia
2000 5 August Westpac Stadium, Wellington New Zealand   23–24   Australia  
15 July Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia   35–39   New Zealand
1999 28 August Stadium Australia, Sydney Australia   28–7   New Zealand  
24 July Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand   34–15   Australia
1998 29 August Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney Australia   19–14   New Zealand  
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  
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  
6 July Athletic Park, Wellington New Zealand   43–6   Australia
1995 29 July Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney Australia   23–34   New Zealand  
22 July Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand   28–16   Australia
  1994 17 August Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney Australia   20–16   New Zealand  
  1993 17 July Carisbrook, Dunedin New Zealand   25–10   Australia  
  1992 25 July Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney Australia   23–26   New Zealand  
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  
10 August Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney Australia   21–12   New Zealand
  1990 18 August Athletic Park, Wellington New Zealand   9–21   Australia  
4 August Eden Park, Auckland 27–17
21 July Lancaster Park, Christchurch 21–6
  1989 5 August Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand   24–12   Australia  
  1988 30 July Concord Oval, Sydney Australia   9–30   New Zealand  
16 July Ballymore, Brisbane 19–19
3 July Concord Oval, Sydney 7–32
  1987 25 July Concord Oval, Sydney Australia   16–30   New Zealand  
  1986 6 September Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand   9–22   Australia  
23 August Carisbrook, Dunedin 13–12
9 August Athletic Park, Wellington 12–13
  1985 29 June Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand   10–9   Australia  
  1984 18 August SCG, Sydney Australia   24–25   New Zealand  
4 August Ballymore, Brisbane 15–19
21 July SCG, Sydney 16–9
  1983 20 August SCG, Sydney Australia   8–18   New Zealand  
  1982 11 September Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand   33–18   Australia  
28 August Athletic Park, Wellington 16–19
14 August Lancaster Park, Christchurch 23–16
  1980 12 July SCG, Sydney Australia   26–10   New Zealand  
28 June Ballymore, Brisbane 9–12
21 June SCG, Sydney 13–9
  1979 28 July SCG, Sydney Australia   12–6   New Zealand  
  1978 9 September Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand   16–30   Australia  
26 August Lancaster Park, Christchurch 22–6
19 August Athletic Park, Wellington 13–12
  1974 8 June SCG, Sydney Australia   6–16   New Zealand  
1 June Ballymore, Brisbane 16–16
25 May SCG, Sydney 6–11
  1972 16 September Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand   38–3   Australia  
2 September Lancaster Park, Christchurch 30–17
19 August Athletic Park, Wellington 29–6
  1968 22 June Ballymore, Brisbane Australia   18–19   New Zealand  
15 June SCG, Sydney 11–27
  1967 19 August Athletic Park, Wellington New Zealand   29–9   Australia  
  1964 29 August Athletic Park, Wellington New Zealand   5–20   Australia  
22 August Lancaster Park, Christchurch 18–3
15 August Carisbrook, Dunedin 14–9
  1962 22 September Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand   16–8   Australia  
8 September Carisbrook, Dunedin 3–0
25 August Athletic Park, Wellington 9–9
  1962 4 June SCG, Sydney Australia   5–14   New Zealand  
26 May Exhibition Ground, Brisbane 6–20
  1958 20 September Epsom Showgrounds, Auckland New Zealand   17–8   Australia  
6 September Lancaster Park, Christchurch 3–6
23 August Athletic Park, Wellington 25–3
  1957 1 June Exhibition Ground, Brisbane Australia   9–22   New Zealand  
25 May SCG, Sydney 11–25
  1955 17 September Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand   3–8   Australia  
3 September Carisbrook, Dunedin 8–0
20 August Athletic Park, Wellington 16–8
  1952 13 September Athletic Park, Wellington New Zealand   15–8   Australia Draw
6 September Lancaster Park, Christchurch 9–14
  1951 21 July The Gabba, Brisbane Australia   6–16   New Zealand  
7 July SCG, Sydney 11–17
23 June SCG, Sydney 0–8
  1949 24 September Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand   9–16   Australia  
3 September Athletic Park, Wellington 6–11
  1947 28 June SCG, Sydney Australia   14–27   New Zealand  
14 June Exhibition Ground, Brisbane 5–13
  1946 28 September Eden Park, Auckland New Zealand   14–10   Australia  
14 September Carisbrook, Dunedin 31–8
  1938 13 August SCG, Sydney Australia   6–14   New Zealand  
6 August Exhibition Ground, Brisbane 14–20
23 July SCG, Sydney 9–24
  1936 12 September Carisbrook, Dunedin New Zealand   38–13   Australia  
5 September Athletic Park, Wellington 11–6
  1934 25 August SCG, Sydney Australia   3–3   New Zealand  
11 August SCG, Sydney 25–11
  1932 23 July SCG, Sydney Australia   13–21   New Zealand  
16 July Exhibition Ground, Brisbane 3–21
2 July SCG, Sydney 22–17

VenuesEdit

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.[10]

Media coverageEdit

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

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  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. ^ "Bledisloe Cup Japan fixture could suffer after All Blacks win series". ESPN Scrum. 27 August 2018. Retrieved 6 February 2019.