Now this one is from 31 May 1969: the first test, played at Lancaster Park.
And it’s worth remembering for a few things, starting with some names that will generate a frisson of excitement for kiwis of a certain age. For the All Blacks: Gray, Meads, Kirkpatrick, Lochore, Going, McCormick. For Wales: the combo of Gareth Edwards and Barry John in the halves, and JPR Williams at fullback. (Okay, let’s not get into the Bridgend thing, people.) And a fair stack of Davies, Williams, Lloyds and Thomas’s to round things out.
Next thing worth remembering: this was the first test Wales played in New Zealand. Sure, their boyos had come as part of Anglo-Welsh and British Lions teams before, but this was their first time in their own right.
Final thing worth remembering: this was the seventh test played between New Zealand and Wales, and it would become the first time in 64 years of trying that the All Blacks would go ahead in the overall standings. So chew on that while you’re wondering what a 63-year losing streak feels like.
- 1905 Wales won
- 1924 All Blacks won
- 1935 Wales won
- 1953 Wales won (blimey, that’s 3-1 to the leek eaters at this point, which is why a lot of people put them up there with the Boks as the Most Dreaded Opponent.)
- 1963 All Blacks won
- 1967 All Blacks won
For the record, the All Blacks won with 4 tries (Dick, McLeod, Lochore, Gray) and McCormick kicking 2 conversions and a penalty. And the crowd of 55,000 people didn’t need fancy seats or lattes to enjoy it (weather showery, ground muddy).