• Bledisloe Cup Collecting Dust in New Zealand Trophy Case

    Rugby historians take note.

    The last time the Wallabies hoisted the Bledisloe Cup was in 2002.

    That win came on top of four consecutive prior Bledisloe Cup wins, when Australian rugby was not in the state that today defines it.

    The All Blacks took the Cup back to New Zealand in 2003 and has won every year since, and indication that perhaps the lack of the extra star on the national flag serves more than a symbolic purpose.

    The Wallabies have been set a tough task for this year’s Bledisloe Cup competition. The host the opener in Sydney this weekend, but then have to travel to Auckland’s Eden Park for the next Test.

    The possible decider will be played in Yokohama, Japan, and for reasons that escape us; the Kiwis have been declared the home side. The final match of the Bledisloe Cup has visitedforeign soil before, but not with any regularity.

    In 2010, Hong Kong was the venue for the fourth game, following matches in Melbourne, Christchurch and Sydney.

    The competition was similar in 2009 and 2008, when the final game went to Tokyo and Hong Kong, respectively. There are no further instances of the Bledisloe Cup being played overseas since the series was inaugurated in 1932.

    The Kiwis are bent on holding the Bledisloe Cup for the 16th consecutive year and it is something of a wonder that they would even bother to lug it along with them, but if the Wallabies can take the first game in Sydney, the All Blacks will not have the option of leaving the Cup in its case.

    One other New Zealand football team, the Warriors, were top of the ladder in the NRL and that year of 2002 was their best on record. The Warriors started off strongly in the finals, beating Canberra and Cronulla, but in the Grand Final, they were seriously outclassed by the Sydney Roosters by the score of 30 – 8.