Top ten NZ/Australia clashes

The sibling rivalry between New Zealand and Australia has sparked sporting taunts, competitive clashes and traditional debates over the decades.

Here are our top NZ vs Aussie spats.

"Four more years" 

Wallabies captain George Gregan taunted the All Blacks in the 2003 RWC semi-final, saying "four more years, boys" as New Zealand lost. His ungracious gloat caused public backlash and ultimately was served back to Gregan as Australia lost to England in the final.

Phar Lap

The winning horse was born in Timaru in 1927 and sold to an Aussie 12 months later. He stole hearts on both sides of the Tasman, winning 37 of his 51 races, including the 1930 Melbourne Cup.

"Aus Zealand" at the 2012 Olympics

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The embarrassment of their gold medal count at the 2012 Olympics was a bit much for the Aussies  - so Sydney's Daily Telegraph newspaper  invented the rogue nation of "Aus Zealand" to claim our medals as their own.

The ol' Pavlova


Who invented this fluffy meringue dessert, named after ballet dancer Anna Pavlova? Both of us have claimed it, but first appeared in a Kiwi recipe book in 1929, six years before it turned up in Australia.

Flight of the Conchords

Fictional, yes, but what a fiction. From the boys explaining the Aussie accent ("Kind of like ours but more evil'"), to the Aussie consulate asking if Murray had New Zealand's mineral exports in their pocket, the insecure portion of the rivalry has never been encapsulated so perfectly.

Crowded House

The band formed in Melbourne but was fronted by Kiwi Neil Finn. They scored a massive hit with Don't Dream it's Over in 1986, Broke up in 1996,  and reformed 10 years later.

Muldoon's IQ joke

Between the late seventies and early 80's more than 103,000 Kiwis settled across the ditch. Complaints about the migration to Prime Minister Muldoon were met with the reply:

"New Zealanders who leave for Australia raise the IQ of both countries." Mate.

Russell Crowe

Are we not entertained? Russell Crowe seems intent on gaining Australian citizenship, and has lived most of his life there - but he's a New Zealand citizen, born in Wellington. He moved to Sydney before even starting primary school, so we can probably forgive him this betrayal.

Kevin Tamati v Greg Dowling

Just before the end of a 1985 Rugby League test match between Australia and New Zealand, props Kevin Tamati (NZ) and Greg Dowling (Aus) were sin binned. A legendary fight soon broke out between the two, and after twenty years Tamati revealed that racist remarks from Downling had set him off.

The Underarm Incident

Okay, we had to get to this one. It was 1981, it was a One Day International cricket match between NZ and Aus, and it was even at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, where the two will play on Sunday.

New Zealand needed a six to tie to match with the final ball. Australian captain Greg Chappell ordered the bowler Trevor, his brother, to bowl the ball underarm, essentially rolling it along the ground and making it impossible to hit over the fence. This was legal at the time, but heavily frowned upon. Trevor did, and the Aussies won the match, but were booed off the field and condemned in the media. Underarm bowling was soon banned.

 - © Fairfax NZ News


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