The Magic of Bledisloe, 2000 – "the greatest game ever"

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By ARU Media Unit

It must have been good. Former Wallaby legend Stephen Larkham described it as the best atmosphere he's ever been a part of as a Wallaby, while his counterpart, Rod Kafer said the first ten minutes was “the most unbelievable bit of Rugby I think I’ve ever seen."

A world record Rugby crowd of 109,874 in Sydney watched in awe as the All Blacks relentlessly crossed the line to score three tries in the first five minutes, handing them an impressive 24-nil lead over Australia at 11 minutes in.

It was a game of numbers that all added up to produce the “greatest ever Rugby match”.

With just five minutes on the clock, television commentator Gordon Bray foretold the nature of the game with the call “it’s raining tries here”.

Raining tries it did as the expansive crowd at Australia Stadium witnessed a thrilling inundation of five pointers in the next 75 minutes.

Just as Aussie fans began to hang their heads and relinquish their hopes of securing the Bledisloe Test win following New Zealand’s dominant start, the Wallabies heroically turned the game around.

The Men in Gold banded together to add 24 points of their own to the scoreboard, whilst denying the All Blacks of any further advantage before the half-time buzzer.

At the break the game was drawn at 24 all.

The next 40 minutes offered spectators a tantalising arm wrestle of Rugby, showcasing the passionate and spirited battle entrenched in the history of Australia v New Zealand Rugby.

A try to the great Kiwi powerhouse, Jonah Lomu eventually broke the scores and saw the All Blacks take the victory by four points. The final siren was accompanied by the exhalation of millions of Rugby fans whose breath was held by the captivating 80 minutes of edge-of-your-seat action.

In the end the figures spell out the greatest game ever - game time: 80 minutes, crowd: 109,874, rivals: two, tries: ten, battle: one, Bledisloe Cup: priceless.

Take a look back at “the greatest game ever” in 2000 on ARUTV below and don't miss the only Bledisloe Cup on Australian soil this year at ANZ Stadium Sydney, Saturday 17 August. Tickets available here.

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Timeless pieces from past Bledisloe Cup Test matches will be on display at The Magic of Bledisloe, a free exhibition at the Museum of Sydney opening on Friday 9 August.

The Bledisloe Cup trophy itself will be at the Museum of Sydney on Friday 9 August when some of the games’ stars launch this year's Bledisloe Cup Festival, and you’re invited – see more details here.

The Magic of Bledisloe exhibition - Museum of Sydney
Date: Friday 9 – Sunday 18 August
Time: Open daily 9.30am - 5pm
Cost: Entry to the display is free

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