• Team and Individual Marks on the Line for Final Bledisloe Cup Match

    It is a dead rubber Bledisloe Cup match that will take place in Japan Saturday coming, but the Kiwis want to win it all the same.

    Based on the 38 – 13 and 40 – 12 margins over Australia in Sydney and Auckland, a Kiwi victory would seem a foregone conclusion, but the business of predicting is best left to the meteorologists.

    Perhaps a neutral venue might prove a difference-maker.


    The final game will be held at Nissan Stadium at Yokohama and for the Kiwis, there are records to be surpassed and new ones created.

    One, if they can win this third test by 29 points, they will have the bragging rights of the most dominant series win in the history of Bledisloe Cup competition.

    The old mark is just two years old, 81-points in the previous sweep.

    Some may recall that Australia took the dead rubber match last year and may have unwittingly ignited all the talk about the dominance of the All Blacks finally reaching the end of an era.

    For the record and in the interest of balance the Aussies won by +17 on two occasions. They had a 2 – 1 series win in 1980 and a clean sweep in 1998.

    The other spots on the list for the best point differential in a victory, 29 of them, belong to New Zealand.

    The Kiwis may add the further precedent of not only exceeding the 116-point total they amassed in 2010, but may do it with one fewer game, as there were four Bledisloe Cup matches that year.

    New Zealand also have the opportunity to break the record for tries. They are on 12 for 2018, with the target being the 16 they recorded in 1972 and 2016.

    There are other records up for grabs, including individual points in a series and individual tries in a series.

    It would almost seem as though the All Blacks need to find another country in front of which to dangle the Bledisloe Cup. Since the annual competition was launched in 1930, it has been run 69 times, with New Zealand claiming its 47th this year to Australia’s 12.