Another year, another Anzac Test* which the Kiwis seemingly have little chance of winning.
Despite being able to pick (injuries permitting) from an increasing number of NRL stars, the Kiwis consistently underperform in these tests.
Since the Anzac Test's inception in 1998 the Kiwis have managed just one victory - a memorable 22-16 win at North Harbour Stadium.
Since the 1998 success, the Kangaroos have won all 12 games with an average winning margin of 18.7 points per game, racked up at an average of almost 30 points per clash. The Kangaroos have twice broken the half century mark - in 2006 and 2000.
There have been 26 non-Anzac tests since 1998 and New Zealand has a much better record in these: won six, drawn two and lost 18 - a win ratio of 23.1 per cent, or just less than one win every four games.
In non-Anzac tests since 1998 the Kangaroos have scored an average of 11.12 points per game more than the Kiwis, compared to the figure of 18.7 in Anzac encounters.
One theory for this improved Kiwis performance was they struggled in one-off tests and needed to play consecutive games before they would produce their best form.
Statistical analysis of results from games played against Australia in tournaments (Tri Nations, Four Nations and World Cups) since 1998 seemed to support this.
Of the 18 times the Kiwis and Kangaroos have met in a tournament since 1998, the Kiwis have won five for a win ratio of 27.8 per cent and have scored on average just 5.7 points less per game than the Kangaroos.
Why do you think there is such a gulf between Kiwi performances in Anzac tests compared to tournaments? And is it time to do away with the one-sided Anzac tests for good? Share your views in comments below.
*Anzac Test refers to any one-off test played in April or May since 1998. An Anzac Test was played in 1997, but only Super League-affiliated players were considered for selection.
- Fairfax Media
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