We are reaching the business end of the 2015 Rugby World Cup and New Zealand remain clear favourites to win the tournament, which means that a choke is just around the corner!
We know that New Zealand was able to take out the 2011 Rugby World Cup, but we have longer memories than that and we prefer to go back to the days when the All Blacks could not win a big World Cup game to save themselves.
The All Blacks take on France in the 2015 Rugby World Cup Quarter-Final and they are a genuine chance to join this growing list of Great Kiwi Chokes!
1991 Rugby World Cup Semi-Final
New Zealand had cruised to victory in the 1987 Rugby World Cup and they were expected to do the same four years later in 1991.
New Zealand went through the pool stages without losing a game and comfortably took care of business against Canada in the quarter-finals, while the Wallabies required a late try to beat Ireland in a famous fixture at Lansdowne Road.
The All-Blacks went into the game as favourites, but they were unable to get their act together and the Wallabies beat them 13-6 before they defeated England in the final a week later.
2013 America’s Cup
This was the choke of all chokes!
Team New Zealand challenged Team Oracle from the United States in the 2013 America’s Cup and they had one hand on the trophy when they took a massive 8-1 lead.
Amazingly, Team New Zealand managed to lose the next eight races and gave up the title in arguably the biggest choke in sporting history.
We are fairly sure Kiwi PM John Key did not award his countrymen a public holiday the next day.
1999 Rugby World Cup Semi-Final
New Zealand took one of the best Rugby teams in history to the 1999 World Cup, headlined by the great Jonah Lomu, and they had no problems getting through the pool stages.
The All Blacks went into their semi-final with France as dominant favourites and Lomu helped them establish a 24-10 lead at half-time, but the All Blacks remembered that they were playing at a Rugby World Cup and completely fell apart in the second-half to lose 43-31.
France went on to be smashed by the Wallabies in the final, while New Zealand were forced into the humiliation that is the third place playoff.
2015 Cricket World Cup Final
New Zealand did extremely well to make it to the 2015 Cricket World Cup Final and confidence in New Zealand was sky high after they beat Australia in the pool stages of the tournament.
Unfortunately for Kiwi fans, the Black Caps never showed up at the MCG and they were in massive trouble from the start of Mitchell Starc’s first over.
Australia cruised to a big victory, but not before New Zealand attempted to divert attention away from their choke by attacking the likes of Brad Haddin for their lack of sportsmanship.
2003 Rugby World Cup Semi-Final
The ARU managed to steal the World Cup hosting rights for this tournament from New Zealand in the lead-up to the event and that was a sign of things to come.
The Wallabies had been a bit of a rabble ahead of the 2003 Rugby World Cup and New Zealand were clearly the best team in the world, but they didn’t matter when they met in the semi-final.
The All Blacks had the majority of the possession, but they were never able to land a killer blow and a glorious Sterling Mortlock intercept led the Wallabies to an upset win.
We won’t mention what happened in the final…
1992 Olympics Equestrian
Yes, New Zealand are even capable of choking in Equestrian!
New Zealand went into the final day of the Three-day team with a massive lead over Australia, but a funny horse called Spinning Rhombus had an absolute Barry Crocker and handed the gold to Australia, while Matt Ryan – not the quarterback or the goalkeeper – claimed the Gold Medal in the individual event!
2007 Rugby World Cup Quarter-Final
Australia had been bundled by England on a miserable Saturday night and I was one of a number of Australians that spent the evening crying into my beers, but my spirits were lifted by another All Blacks choke.
This was really New Zealand’s tournament to win and the standard at the tournament was extremely poor – thanks mainly to England, but expectation got the better of the All Blacks again and they suffered another humiliating loss to the French!
2015 Rugby World Cup Quarter-Final?
Will history repeat itself this weekend? Let’s Hope so!