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Last Updated: Sunday, 16 November, 2003, 08:52 GMT
Catalogue of Kiwi calamity

By Bryn Palmer
BBC Sport in Sydney

A few days ago it was Australia who were unkindly dubbed the 'Wobblies' given their unconvincing World Cup form.

But Saturday's semi-final loss will have brought back familiar feelings of pain for New Zealand and their supporters.

We didn't choke - that's just a buzz-word
NZ coach John Mitchell
Since winning the inaugural World Cup in 1987, the All Blacks have lost their old aura of invincibility amid a series of devastating defeats.

Here, BBC Sport recalls five earlier additions to the Kiwi calamity collection.


South Africa 15-12 New Zealand
24 June 1995, Johannesburg

Having blitzed their way to the World Cup final with some rampaging rugby, New Zealand's running game was negated by the emotionally-charged Springboks.

The favourites were unable to score a try as the scores remained tied at 9-9 at the end of normal time.

Then South Africa stand-off Joel Stransky stepped up to land the winning drop goal, and the All Blacks were left blaming a suspicious bout of food poisoning among their team.


France 43-31 New Zealand
31 October 1999, Twickenham

France celebrate beating New Zealand in 1999
France floored the All Blacks in the World Cup last four in 1999
One of the greatest games of rugby ever, but possibly New Zealand's darkest hour.

Leading 24-10 five minutes into the second half with the help of two Jonah Lomu tries, the favourites appeared on course for another World Cup final.

But a mesmeric half-hour of French fury and flair saw the Kiwis capitulate, signalling the end of the reigns of John Hart and Taine Randell as coach and captain.


New Zealand 23-24 Australia
5 August 2000, Wellington

Another heartbreaker, and this time on home soil as the All Blacks appeared to 'choke' in the closing minutes of a nail-biting contest.

Trailing 23-21 going into injury time, Australia twice kicked to touch confident they could exploit a faltering New Zealand line-out.

A second lost ball on their own throw yielded a penalty which multi-talented Wallabies skipper John Eales slotted over with the last kick of the game.


Australia 29-26 New Zealand
1 September 2001, Sydney

The Wallabies continued their knack of snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, and again their trans-Tasman neighbours were the victims.

New Zealand led 26-22 with 90 seconds remaining and were on the verge of taking the Bledisloe Cup back across 'the ditch'.

But John Eales opted against kicking for goal and his tactics were rewarded when Toutai Kefu charged over for the clinching try to give Eales the perfect Test send-off.


Australia 16-14 New Zealand
3 August 2002, Sydney

A glum All Black fan
Kiwi fans suffer that same old feeling again and again
Oh no, not again. The full-time siren had already sounded at Sydney's Telstra Stadium when Australia were awarded a penalty inside the All Blacks half.

As Wallabies veteran Matt Burke lined up the kick, Kiwis everywhere must have must known what was coming as it sailed between the uprights.

They appeared to have buried the hoodoo with home and away wins this year to reclaim the Bledisloe Cup, but are left with that familiar sinking feeling once again.





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