2020 has not been a banner year for rugby in Australia but the Wallabies gave us some cause for optimism with their thrilling contest with the All Blacks over the weekend.
Sure a win would have been much better, but beggars can’t be choosers.
On the plus side the Bledisloe Cup is still alive with three tests remaining, on the down side, a trip to Eden Park awaits.
This is not the first time that a winner has not been properly decided in a high-profile sporting event and we have come up with this list of nine thrilling ties.
2020 Bledisloe Cup – New Zealand vs Australia
When you have gone 19 years without a win in New Zealand, a tie can feel as good as one.
The opening test of the 2020 Bledisloe Cup was worth the wait as the Wallabies and All Blacks played out a thrilling 16-16 tie in Wellington on the weekend.
It looked like the improbable victory might have come off just after the full time siren when Reece Hodge belted a 55m shot a goal however the Wellington breeze just wasn’t cooperating with the ball ricocheting off the right upright.
That kicked off eight minutes of utter chaos as both sides battled fatigue, the worsening conditions and each other as they chased a win.
In the end after a few nervous moments at both ends of the field, James O’Connor punted the ball into touch and both sides had to settle for a draw ahead of the second test at Eden Park next week.
2019 World Cup Final – New Zealand vs England
Did England deserve to win the 2019 Cricket World Cup? Probably not.
England had plenty of luck on their side in the concluding stages of their run chase and they were still unable to beat New Zealand, with both sides finishing on 241 runs apiece.
The drama didn’t end there.
After a pair of ‘Super Overs’ both teams were once again deadlocked on 15 runs.
England were awarded the win on countback, for having hit the most boundaries, and New Zealand failed to win the World Cup despite failing to lose the final twice.
The Tied Test – Australia vs West Indies
This might be the greatest Test Match that has ever been played.
Australia went into the final over of the Test at 7-227 and needing six runs to win.
They secured one run in the opening ball of the over before Richie Benaud was dismissed with the second ball.
The Aussies claimed runs on the fourth and fifth balls of the over and claimed two runs on the sixth ball before Wally Grout was dismissed attempting a third run, which would have led to an Australian win.
Aussie number 11 pushed the ball to square leg on the seventh ball of the over and try to scamper through for a single, but West Indies fielder Joe Solomon was famously able to hit a single stump for a run out to ensure the first Tied in the history of Test Cricket.
The Second Tied Test – India vs Australia
The second Tied Test came 26 years later in a truly epic clash in Mumbai.
Australia were in the box seat for the majority of the Test Match, thanks to 210 runs from Dean Jones in the first innings, and set India a total of 348 runs to win in the final innings of the match.
India went into the final over of the match needing four wins to win with only one wicket in hand and Ravi Shastri was able to tie the scores in the third ball of the over.
That left Indian number 11 Maninder Singh with one run needed for a famous victory, but he was given out LBW with the fifth ball of Greg Matthews’ over.
1999 Cricket World Cup Semi Final – Australia vs South Africa
This may now have been pipped for the title of the greatest match in the history of the Cricket World Cup, but it was still a thrilling contest in its own right.
Australia set South Africa a total of 2013 and the South Africans went into the final over of the match needing nine runs to win with only one wicket in hand.
Player of The Tournament Lance Klusener hit the first two balls of the over for four and South Africa were level on runs.
Allan Donald was almost run out with the third ball of the over before Klusener’s infamous meltdown on the fourth ball.
Klusener hit the ball straight to Mark Waugh at mid-off, but still sprinted down the pitch and left Donald stranded at the non-strikers end.
Waugh threw the ball to bowler Damien Fleming and he rolled the ball of Adam Gilchrist who whipped the bails off to send Australia into the World Cup Final due to the fact that Australia had been South Africa earlier in the tournament.
2002 State Of Origin Game 3 – Queensland vs New South Wales
Queensland and New South Wales went into the 2002 State Of Origin decider with one win apiece and it would remain that way after 80 minutes.
The Blues scored a try with three minutes to go and looked as though they had won the series, but with the final play of the game Queensland’s Dane Carlaw produced the best play of his entire career to score a try.
Lote Tuqiri missed the conversion and the game finished at 18-18, but the rules at the time, which didn’t include Golden Point, meant that Queensland retained the State Of Origin shield!
2017 All Blacks vs British & Irish Lions Game 3
The All Blacks and the British & Irish Lions split the opening two games of the series and it all came down to a decider.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get a result.
New Zealand moved away to 12-6 lead at half-time, but the Lions kicked their way back into the game, in typically British fashion, to finish level on 15 points apiece.
This was the first drawn series between the All Blacks and the Lions and the first drawn Lions series since 1955.
2006 Football World Cup – Australia vs Croatia
One of Australia’s most memorable ‘wins’ in their football history was not actually a win at all.
The Socceroos went into their final 2006 World Cup pool requiring either a win or a draw against Croatia to progress to the knockout stages for the first time.
We got there in the end, but not without plenty of drama.
Croatia scored an early goal and Australia equalized thanks to a Craig Moore penalty before a Zelko Kalac error gifted Croatia a second goal.
Harry Kewell was able to equalize for Australia in the 79th minute and looked to score a winner in the final play of the game, but it was disallowed thanks to some embarrassing incompetence from referee Graham Poll.
It didn’t matter though as the draw was enough to send Australia through to the round of 16 and an eventually heart-breaking date with Italy.
2010 AFL Grand Final – Collingwood vs St Kilda
The 2010 AFL Grand Final had just about everything.
Collingwood went into the match as clear favourites and they held a comfortable 50-26 lead at half-time, but they failed to kick a goal in the third quarter and let St Kilda back into the hunt.
Deep into the fourth quarter, St Kilda hit the front for the first time in the game before Collingwood hit the front again in the 26 minute thanks to a Travis Cloak goal.
In the 30th minute of the quarter, a Lenny Hayes kicked rolled through for a behind and the scores were level.
The Saints applied some late pressure, but were unable to score and the match ended as a tie.
Collingwood comfortably won the replay a week later and St Kilda haven’t been near a Grand Final since.