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Results that left us red-faced

Munster players celebrate their 12-0 win over the 1978 All Blacks. PHOTOS/GETTY IMAGES

In light of the Warriors being dealt a good old fashioned 70-10 hiding and showing little Anzac fight in surrendering 10 tries to the Melbourne Storm in 31 minutes in a woeful second half, it is time to delve into the depths of New Zealand sporting despair and dig out some of our most embarrassing moments.

Admittedly some of these come in the form of chokes but regardless are still cringe-worthy enough to leave us red-faced.


Team New Zealand leading 8-1 in San Francisco and needing one win to bring the Auld Mug home to New Zealand, and syndicate head Grant Dalton agrees to a lay day when racing could go ahead.

That 24 hours gave defenders Oracle all the time they needed, and they won the next race.

The obnoxious Aussie Jimmy Spithill was in his element.

He got more and more under the skin of the Kiwis and sailed to victory in eight straight races to keep the cup in California.


Our summer sport figures highly with several standout humiliations, but three stand out.

First is the record low test score of 26 against England in 1955. Only the great Bert Sutcliffe reached double figures, and only two other batters scored more than one run as the Kiwis crumbled to an ignominious innings defeat.

Fast forward 58 years to Cape Town. The Black Caps were rolled for 45 in 19 overs, with only Kane Williamson [13 runs] reaching double figures and the Proteas cruised to an innings victory.

The 2015 World Cup final against Australia at the MCG might seem a weird one to include. But the foolhardiness of captain Brendon McCullum in choosing to bat first when the fading light would be a factor late in the innings, and then his arrogant approach to his batting to be dismissed for a third ball duck were embarrassing enough for inclusion.


Argentine fans celebrate the Pumas’ victory over the All Blacks in 2020.

The All Blacks World Cup meltdowns against France in the 1999 semifinal, lost 31-43 after leading 24-10, and the 2007 quarterfinal lost 20-18, spring to mind as contenders. The 15-25 loss to an understrength Argentina in Sydney in 2020 deserves inclusion, and two provincial games warrant mention.

The 12-0 loss to Munster on the 1978 tour of Britain and Ireland earned the quip from winger Stu Wilson “we were lucky to get nil”.

Another big implosion came against Sydney in 1992 – the All Blacks were humbled 40-17 in a game when they may as well have stayed on the tour bus.

The 1986 Cavaliers tour of South Africa was an embarrassment for New Zealand rugby — full stop, end of story.


The All Whites’ disqualification for playing ineligible player Deklan Wynne in the semifinals of the 2015 Pacific Cup – the qualifying series for the 2016 Rio Olympics – deserves to be near the top of the list.

New Zealand beat Vanuatu 2-0 but Oceania Football overturned the result, and the Kiwis’ Olympics dream was over.

A shock 2-0 loss to New Caledonia in 2012 ended the Confederation Cup hopes of the All Whites and with it went a $1.3 million payday.


The Silver Ferns went into the 2018 Commonwealth Games in jittery form. That was confirmed when unheralded Malawi overturned a seven-point halftime deficit to record a historic 57-53 victory in pool play.

To add to the Silver Ferns’ misery, they were beaten 60-56 by Jamaica in the bronze medal match.


Dejected Kiwis Dallin Watene Zelezniak, left, and Dean Whare after the 2017 World Cup quarterfinal loss to Fiji.

There have been many embarrassing efforts by the Warriors and the Kiwis, too many to mention. However, the 2-4 loss to Fiji in a try-less quarterfinal in the 2017 World Cup at Wellington takes the cake. A miserable night, a miserable game, and a miserable result. Need I say more?


Maybe not in the embarrassment category, but there’s the meltdown of Andrew Nicholson and Spinning Rhombus at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, with New Zealand in the gold medal spot with seven fences to spare. They knocked over nine.

And the men’s Black Sticks led Germany 2-0 with six minutes to play in their quarterfinal, only for Germany to score three goals with the winner coming in the last second.

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