Brisbane's ABs vs Wallabies 'Hall of Fame'

18:13, Oct 19 2012

Brisbane is where the fuses burn quickest whenever the All Blacks and Wallabies meet and subsequently there is rarely any shortage of "knuckle" in the Queensland capital.

The sub-tropical heat may fire their bellies and the history books are dotted with incidents.

1980: All Blacks v Wallabies, Ballymore Oval, Brisbane

Although the All Blacks won this second test of the three-match series 12-9, many remember it for the Mark Shaw punch that shattered Steve Williams' jaw.

With the All Blacks under immense pressure after losing in Sydney the week before (during which All Blacks wing Stu Wilson broke a finger when smacking prop Stan Pilecki in the head), it was no surprise several stoushes erupted in Brisbane.

So when Wallabies lock Williams threw a haymaker (it missed) at blindside flanker Shaw, there were no second chances offered.


Shaw unloaded a short left punch that put Williams on a liquid diet for a few months.

1987: All Blacks v Wales, Ballymore Oval.

The All Blacks cruised through the World Cup semifinal 49-6 but it was not just their eight tries that had the 22,576 fans babbling with excitement after the final whistle.

Wayne Shelford, the No 8, dotted down twice that afternoon but it was his decking of Welsh lock Huw Richards late in the match that proved a "highlight".

When Shelford spied Richards and Gary Whetton having a skirmish - the latter alleged the Welshman grabbed his wedding tackle in a maul - he decided to put an end to their frolicking and felled Richards with a blow to the melon.

Although Shelford was also belted by a Welsh player, he remained on his feet and on the field. Richards was not so lucky. After a brief visit to cuckoo-land, he woke up to discover referee Kerry Fitzgerald had sent him off for provoking the incident.

1992: All Blacks v Wallabies, Ballymore Oval.

The outcome proved a "near-miss" for the All Blacks but unfortunately for Wallabies wing Paul Carozza, Richard Loe's aim was spot-on.

After diving in for a try in the corner, Carozza, who may as well have had a bullseye painted on his face, was congratulated by All Blacks loosehead prop Loe, who used his forearm to smear Carozza's nose across his face.

The Australian crowd - and later their media - went ballistic with anger.

Carozza, who was left looking as though he had been operated on by a cosmetic surgeon who had just had a blazing row with his wife, may have wondered if his badly broken nose would allow him to smell again. At least he had the consolation of knowing his two tries had played a major part in the Wallabies winning the match 19-17, taking an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

All Blacks management refused to punish Loe, who played the third test in Sydney a week later.

1996: All Blacks v Wallabies, Suncorp Stadium.

Such was the ferocity of Michael Brial's attack on Frank Bunce in the opening minutes of this match, it seemed certain he would be sent from the field.

Remarkably, the Wallabies No 8 escaped punishment, referee Jim Fleming only reversing a penalty he originally awarded to the Aussies.

Even more surprisingly, Bunce, a player renowned for his resolve never to take a backward step, offered little resistance as Brial swung his wild haymakers like a schoolkid having a tantrum.

Later it emerged that Brial may have still held a grudge about the way Bunce barrelled into him at a maul and injured him when the All Blacks met New South Wales four years earlier.

"I couldn't believe it - he went right over the top," Bunce said afterwards.

The All Blacks won 32-25, Bunce scoring the winning try in the final seconds following a sweet backline move from a scrum.

2011: All Blacks v Wallabies, Suncorp Stadium.

This one was just plain daft. As he rose from a ruck Quade Cooper slipped a knee into Richie McCaw's head and subsequently confirmed his status as the most disliked Aussie at the World Cup the following month.

In his book McCaw noted the incident: "The intent of what he was trying to do p..... me off more than the execution."

The All Blacks captain also admitted he was annoyed with himself when he later opted to run the ball at Cooper, just to satisfy his desire to mete out some justice.

"I was disappointed in myself doing that, letting it get personal. There's no need - players like Quade get sorted. Sooner or later, they get their beans."

The Press