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Australia v New Zealand Rivalry


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Relations between New Zealand and Australia are, for the most part, extremely close.  Separated by the Tasman sea, we Kiwis share a number of similarities with the Aussies, from our location and adoration of sport and its stars, to the colonial British heritage which has shaped both our countries. 

Some of the more daring people might suggest, with Australia, we New Zealanders share a bond not unlike that of brothers and sisters. If we aren't fighting in the backyard tooth and nail over a game or bickering, we're holidaying with each other and trading together, listening to the same music and enjoying the same television shows.

Not long after New Zealand and Australia's relationship began, this sibling rivalry spilt over onto the sporting field, captivating ever since. Nothing brings a Kiwi to his or her feet faster than witnessing New Zealand triumph over Australia. Our country might be small, but we punch above our weight and always take it to our bigger, older sibling.

And in the process, we’ve experienced our fair share of bitter feuds with Australia. Whether the ball was in or out, or this was ours and not theirs, over time the rivalry has intensified. New Zealand versus Australia in anything means support for our country and pride in our nation, because every time we take the field against them we ask ourselves that age old question; are Kiwis better than Aussies?

Surely so, considering our counterparts are known for claiming some of our greatest icons as their own, and acting most deviously on the sporting field.

So before the five teams representing our small but glorious nation New Zealand go about defending our honour against Australia, take a look at some of the sore points that have occurred between us over the years, some historic, others downright ludicrous.

 

The underarm delivery

Everyone alive at the time remembers the underarm incident that bowled New Zealand over and tainted our cricketing rivalry with Australia, besmirching the odd name too. In 1981 in the One Day International between New Zealand and Australia, NZ needed a six from the final ball of the match to tie the game.

Australian captain Greg Chappell instructed his brother Trevor to bowl the delivery underarm, an action legal at the time but looked down upon as detrimental to the spirit of the game. Trevor rolled the ball down the pitch, New Zealand batsman Brian McKechnie was unable to hit it for six and threw his bat away in disgust as the crowd booed Australia. 

Pavlova

The iconic sweet meringue-based dessert was created in New Zealand back in 1926, after Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova while she toured the country. Nearly ten years later, things turned sour as an Australian version of the dessert popped up in 1935, followed by claims that this was the originator.

However, formal research has vindicated New Zealand's claim to the Pavlova throne, and dessert fans around the country have rejoiced. 

Olympic medals

At one stage of the 2014 London Olympics, Australia had won so few gold medals that the Daily Telegraph ran an updated medal table including the country Aus Zealand, proudly bearing the gold medals won by three of our rowers and the one gold Australia contributed.

On top of that, when New Zealand sat tenth on the medal haul table Olympic broadcaster Channel 9 allegedly wiped them off the list, only showing the top nine countries. Other cases of sporting unison include the All Whites drawing with Slovakia at the 2010 Football World Cup, which the Sydney Morning Herald ran as Australasia 1 - Slovakia 1. 

Russell Crowe

Big screen superstar and part time phone gladiator Russell Crowe has long been claimed by Australia. Crowe, the academy award winning actor, was actually born in New Zealand, and only filed for Australian citizenship come 2006. 

New Zealand musical talent

Chances are, once a New Zealand artist or group makes waves internationally, Australia will claim them. Split Enz to this day are still argued over, despite the group originating on our shores and even spelling Enz as an obvious hint before touring Australia.

Since then, a range of singers and bands have moved to the bright lights offered across the Tasman, welcomed with open arms and claimed since. An toneless tactic by Australia, such acts claimed range from Shihad and Evermore, to KimbraDragon and many others. 

Phar Lap

A champion thoroughbred racehorse, Phar Lap decimated his competition and took the horse racing world by storm during the early years of the Great Depression. Foaled in New Zealand, Phar Lap was bought at the 1928 Trentham Yearling sales, then trained and raced in Australia by Harry Telford.

Phar Lap went on to win a Melbourne Cup, two Cox Plates, an AJC Derby, and 19 other weight-for-age races, before then winning the Agua Caliente Handicap in Tijuana, Mexico, in record time. Phar Lap then died of a mysterious illness, some people suggesting poisoning. However, he remains one of New Zealand's great racehorses, claimed by Australia.


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