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Eden Park timeline

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By Max Bania

Published: 6:26AM Saturday June 09, 2012 Source: ONE Sport

The Irish will have positively ecstatic memories of Eden Park.

Last time out, they pulled off one of the most memorable victories in their history: a 15-6 shutout of the highly-fancied Wallabies in front of a partisan Irish crowd that celebrated long beyond the weekend.

But that pales in comparison to the imposing record the All Blacks have chalked up at the garden of Eden. Since drawing with the Springboks in 1994, they have won a remarkable 27 consecutive Tests by an average scoreline of 35-15.

And few pundits would would back the All Blacks to lose their first Test of the Steve Hansen era in Auckland tonight.

August 6, 1994: All Blacks 18 - South Africa 18
The Springboks scored the only two tries of the game and played the better rugby, but six Shane Howarth penalties were enough to overcome a 12-9 halftime deficit and deny the Boks their first win at Eden Park since 1937 by the narrowest of margins.

April 22, 1995: All Blacks 73 - Canada 7
Andrew Mehrtens set a record for most points by an All Black on Test debut - 28 - as the All Blacks kicked off their season with an opposed training run against the Canucks. Mehrtens' record lasted a matter of months before being eclipsed by Simon Culhane's 45 points haul in the 145-17 win over Japan at the World Cup.

July 22, 1995: All Blacks 28 - Australia 16
Memories of George Gregan's match-saving tackle on Jeff Wilson the year before were dulled as the All Blacks put one hand back on the Bledisloe. A full house of 50,000 saw Mehrtens pot two drop goals and Jonah Lomu tiptoe down the left-hand touchline for the decisive try.

June 22, 1996: All Blacks 36 - Scotland 12
A rainy day produced a dour match in which Scott Hastings surpassed brother Gavin as the most capped Scottish player of all time. Josh Kronfeld bagged a double and rookie Christian Cullen produced another eye-catching performance.

August 8, 1997: All Blacks 55 - South Africa 35
Defence was purely optional in a bizarre Tri Nations contest that saw 12 tries scored. The Boks were well in the game until Andre Venter's 47th minute red card for stomping Sean Fitzpatrick tipped the scales New Zealand's way, as they ran in 32 second half points.

June 27,1998: All Blacks 40 - England 10
England's nightmare tour down under ended with another predictable hiding. Sadly, this tour set a precedent for Northern Hemisphere countries sending third-string sides to the Antipodes on pointless end-of-year tours. The All Blacks ran in six tries but it was an unimpressive performance against England's dirt trackers.

July 24, 1999: All Blacks 34 - Australia 15
The Wallabies felt the wrath of Mehrtens' boot yet again on a chilly winter night. The metronomically-accurate Cantab kicked nine penalties - seven in the first half - and although Australia did score two tries to one, both came with the game already long gone.

July 1, 2000: All Blacks 48 - Scotland 14
A face-saving effort from the Scots after an eleven-try thrashing the previous week in Dunedin. Starved of possession for long periods, New Zealand nevertheless defied the slippery conditions to run in four tries in each half.

August 25, 2001: All Blacks 26 - South Africa 15
The All Blacks bounced back from a bad loss to the Wallabies in Dunedin in a match that reached no great heights. Pita Alatini bustled over in the eighth minute, and a penalty try for a tackle without the ball made the game safe, but it proved to be a match of the also-rans as the Wallabies retained their Tri-Nations title.

June 22, 2002: All Blacks 40 - Ireland 8
The week before in Dunedin they'd been booed by their own fans for a terrible performance against the same opposition. This time the All Blacks ran in five second half tries to win comfortably, despite Ireland again putting up a good account of themselves in greasy conditions.

August 16, 2003: All Blacks 21 - Australia 17
A famous night that saw Australia finally release its five-year-long grip on the Bledisloe. Smarting from a 50-21 hammering in Sydney in the first leg, the Wallabies fought tooth and nail in a performance that foreshadowed their World Cup semi-final victory, but were eventually quelled by a brace of tries to Doug Howlett.

June 19, 2004: All Blacks 36 - England 12
England lock Simon Shaw was rightly sent off for kneeing Keith Robinson in the head early on, which allowed the English press to deflect the blame for another heavy defeat away from their team's own hopeless inadequacies. Mehrtens and Carlos Spencer ran a tag-team backline as wing Joe Rokocoko bagged another hat-trick.

July 9, 2005: All Blacks 38 - British Lions 19
Six Englishmen, five Welshmen and four Irishmen walk onto a rugby field. The result was the 2005 Lions. Tana Umaga silenced the boo-boys with a brace as the All Blacks brought the curtain down on the Clive Woodward circus show with a whitewash-clinching win.

September 3, 2005: All Blacks 34 - Australia 24
Hardly one for the highlights reel, although a stirring Aussie fightback did make things interesting. Down 0-20, they rallied to trail by just one point with half an hour to go, before a Doug Howlett hat trick clinched another Tri-Nations title for the men in black.

June 17, 2006: All Blacks 27 - Ireland 17
A half of two halves, so to speak, saw the home side race to a 20-0 lead only for defensive lapses to narrow the lead to six points at the break. The All Blacks held on in an error-strewn second half to wrap up the series 2-0, with Luke McAlister scoring to make the game safe in the 70th minute.

August 19, 2006: All Blacks 34 - Australia 27
The Aussies came prepared to win by means fair or foul - usually foul, as evidenced by the special treatment doled out to Richie McCaw by both Phil Waugh and Lote Tuquiri. Trailing 11-20 at halftime, a shock looked on the cards before the Black machine clicked in the second half, with tries to Chris Jack and Luke McAlister setting up a seventh Tri Nations triumph.

June 2, 2007: All Blacks 42 - France 11
A Pyhrric victory for the home side, who comfortably halted France's second-stringers but lost Dan Carter and Richie McCaw to injury. Aaron Mauger and Sitiveni Sivivatu dotted down twice but there was little else to cheer about in a scattergun performance that highlighted a worrying dependency on their two key players.

July 21, 2007: All Blacks 26 - Australia 12
One that got away for the Wallabies. With the Bledisloe up for grabs, they trailed just 9-12 at the break and looked the more composed of the teams. But the All Blacks forwards muscled up in the second half, and Dan Carter edged them clear with three penalties to secure the silverware for another year.

June 14, 2008: All Blacks 37 - England 20
A 14-minute, 23-point first half burst put paid to England's fanciful hopes of springing an upset. Carter was inspirational, first setting up Conrad Smith then scoring an excellent try of his own. England's only bright spot was two-try debutant Topsy Ojo.

August 2, 2008: All Blacks 39 - Australia 10
After a week of intense criticism that followed their capitulation in Sydney, the All Blacks delivered a stunning reposte. Tony Woodcock and Ma'a Nonu each scored twice as a number the hacks calling for Graham Henry's head post-World Cup were made to eat their words.

July 18, 2009: All Blacks 22 - Australia 16
The Wallabies fancied their chances of ending their long Eden Park hoodoo when they raced to a ten point first half lead, but their self-belief once again deserted them in the second forty. Stephen Donald kicked five penalties to complement a trademark Richie McCaw barge over the line as New Zealand's forwards once again finished over the top of their trans-Tasman counterparts.

July 10, 2010: All Blacks 32 - South Africa 12
Widely tipped as the night the All Blacks' remarkable winning streak would come to an end; instead it was the Boks who crumbled in the face of a bruising All Black forward effort and some dynamic back play. The hosts raced to a 20-3 halftime lead through sweeping tries to Nonu and Conrad Smith, and Tony Woodcock crashed over late on for a deserved bonus point try.

August 6, 2011: All Blacks 30 - Australia 14
The Wallabies spent all week writing cheques with their mouths that their bodies weren't cash against an All Blacks side hell-bent on revenge for their defeat in Hong Kong nine months prior. New Zealand defended ferociously, only once opening the door to Digby Ioane in the second half, but a Sitiveni Sivivatu try from the ensuing kickoff firmly shut the door.

September 9, 2011: All Blacks 41 - Tonga 10
A record crowd saw the World Cup opened with a dazzling fireworks display and opening ceremony. The on-field action failed to match the pre-game entertainment as the All Black machine spluttered in the second half. The Tongan scrum blitzed their much-vaunted opponents, resulting in a deserved try to Sona Taumalolo.

September 24, 2011: All Blacks 37 - France 17
The All Blacks have never lost in pool play and never threatened to against a French team that appeared to wave the white flag even before kickoff. It was the Dan Carter and Israel Dagg show; the two fleet-footed backs contributing to most of the five tries. Carter even potted a rare drop goal just to show the All Blacks meant business.

October 9, 2011: All Blacks 33 - Argentina 10
Horrible memories of the Cardiff disaster four years earlier began to flood back when the All Blacks trailed late in the first half and lost first five Colin Slade to a serious injury. But up stepped Piri Weepu; the bearded general slotting seven penalties to ease the nerves, while tries to Kieran Read and Brad Thorn quelled a gallant Argentina.

October 16, 2011, All Blacks 20 - Australia 6
Four years of hard work and determination culminated in of the home team's best performances under Graham Henry, For the second time in two months, the Wallabies arrived full of bluff and bluster and then burst their own bubble thanks to another Quade Cooper horror show. Slick, clinical and defensively stoic, the All Blacks were out of sight as soon as Nonu dotted down in the sixth minute.

October 23, 2011: All Blacks 8 - France 7
This was to be the night the World Cup was finally reclaimed, 24 years after David Kirk first held it aloft on the same ground. But it was an agonising watch against a resurgent French side, who narrowed the gap to one point when Thierry Dusautoir crossed in the second half. But a Tony Woodcock set-move try and a wobbly penalty from instant cult hero Stephen Donald were just enough to crown the All Blacks world champions.

Do you think the Irish have any hope of upsetting the All Blacks tonight? Add your comment below.

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  • speighsthard said on 2012-06-10 @ 10:31 NZDT: Report abusive post

    way to go abs nice win

  • John Proffitt said on 2012-06-10 @ 09:51 NZDT: Report abusive post

    Great to see new All Blacks and showing their talent. Very promising. It was a shame the game was ruined by very poor decisions by a whistle happy Referee. New rules or not the referee was not consistent when it came to the scrum and penalising the Irish on each occasion. It appeared the referee was one eyed and hindered the Irish not allowing free flow of play. The free kicks were suspect and was a difference at the start of the game. The Irish run-away try's should have been allowed.

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