The boundaries and the car park of Eden Park are lined and filled with the headstones of Wallabies who have tried unsuccessfully to win a Bledisloe Cup for the Kiwis.
The Aussies last won in 2002, but it feels like longer. That last win did come as the fifth consecutive in a string.
Yet, since the first time the two countries have gone head-to-head, the Wallabies have only 12 Bledisloe Cups to their credit, versus 47 for New Zealand.
Football fans in Yokohama Japan, site of the third game of this year’s series, will not get to watch a decider, as New Zealand totally dominated in Sydney and Auckland, winning the game in Oz 38 – 13 and the one in Auckland 40 – 12.
Sixteen consecutive wins in the Bledisloe Cup series almost ascends to the level of absurdity and for all the talk of selection leading up to the series, the tempting conclusion to draw is that it matters not who the Wallabies put out there, while the Kiwis could put just about anyone on the field safely.
The Wallabies showed promise for the first 35 minutes of the game, but the final 45 were an entirely different situation.
There were some Wallabies that showed up nicely, including Reece Hodge, jack Maddocks and Dane Haylett-Perry. Will Genia could be considered the best on-ground for the Aussies and David Pocock has a good Eden Park outing, but against the best rugby team in the world, all players have to fire all the time, as a momentary lapse at any moment invariably winds up with the Kiwis crossing the touch line for a try.
In the second half, the New Zealand side’s speed simply proved too much for the Wallabies and while some of the Wallabies had strong second halves, it was much the same this year as it was the year before, the year before that…
There were far too many images of Beauden Barrett running freely with prostrate Wallabies in his wake, even though there were calls for Barrett to be left off for Crusaders’ star Richie Mo’unga.