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Last Updated: Monday, 29 September, 2003, 09:19 GMT 10:19 UK
World Cup golden moments
New Zealand 70-6 Italy
World Cup pool match, 22 May 1987
Eden Park, Auckland

All Blacks wonder try
by John Kirwan

We were under a lot of pressure at the beginning of the tournament. Our coach had said to us that the All Blacks had always been the unofficial world champions even prior to a World Cup.

He told us it was our responsibility to live up to that and make sure we carried over the All Black tradition.

But in our opening game against Italy we were really failing to click as a team.

So he took us aside at half-time and rightfully berated us for our play and told us that, if we didn't start playing, we'd have to pack up our bags and head home.

When the second half resumed, I remember saying to Grant Fox to give me the ball whenever he got the chance.

Then it came to him from a kick-off and Foxy popped it across to me behind our own try line.

From there I ran a few metres and passed a few guys along the way before touching down.

In all seriousness, it stands out as one of my personal favourites. That year was a good one for me for scoring classic tries.

Many say it was not until John's wonder try that we came to life but we were always in command.
All Black captain David Kirk
I remember thinking I'd just go for it and thankfully all my mates just stepped aside and left me to it. I kept on going and before I knew I'd made it all the way through.

It paved the way for a free-for-all from our guys and, from there, the tries continued to charge in in quick succession.

I'll remember that tournament as a whole fondly. I didn't really appreciate it enough at the time but I certainly appreciate it a lot now.

We were under pressure from the start and to put a few nice tries on the board against Italy helped to settle the nerves and send us on our way.

Interview by Matt Majendie

Links to more History stories


Players remember

1987: Kiwis claim Cup

Kirwan eyes last eight spot
25 Sep 03  |  Italy
Kirwan tips Pumas
24 Sep 03  |  Argentina


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