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New Zealand v England ‘a look back’ ~ 1985 ~


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TODAY we look at the 1st Test from the Series in 1985

215th All Black Test

 New Zealand 18 vs  13  England at Lancaster Park
Christchurch, New Zealand
{First Test} Saturday, 1 June 1985

Melville clears. from this scrum ln spite of the close attentions of Kirk. Hobbs and Hall prepare to follow the ball.
Melville clears. from this scrum ln spite of the close attentions of Kirk. Hobbs and Hall prepare to follow the ball.

First Test
The third team from England to visit New Zealand made a seven match tour in May and June of 1985. England’s record in recent matches had not been inspiring, with heavy losses to South Africa and Australia in 1984 and the second bottom spot in the Five Nations championship. The tourists also suffered from the unavailability of several leading players.

The most interesting member of the team from New Zealand’s point of view was the former All Black centre, Jamie Salmon, who had returned to England after living in Wellington for several years.

By winning selection for this Test, Salmon became the first player to represent New Zealand and England in international matches. Ian Botting, who toured South Africa with the 1949 All Blacks before playing for England in 1950, did not play a Test for New Zealand.

Nigel Melville and Steve Bainbridge had toured with the 1983 Lions while Bainbridge, Paul Dodge and Gary Pearce had played for England against New Zealand later that year. The 1985 tourists were relatively inexperienced at international level, however. Dodge, who had played against the 1978 All Blacks for England, was the most capped player with 29 internationals, Pearce being next with 21. None of the others had won more than a dozen caps.

1st Test – Lancaster Park 1985

Players new to Test Rugby in the home team were Kieran Crowley, who had toured England and Scotland in 1983; David Kirk, later to captain the All Blacks to victory in the inaugural World Cup Tournament, also a 1983tourist and a member of the 1984 team in Australia; and Murray Pierce, whose eight appearances for New Zealand in 1984 did not include a Test.

Since arriving in New Zealand, the visitors had played four games, beating North Auckland, Poverty Bay and Otago but being soundly defeated by Auckland. The All Blacks were widely favoured to win the first Test without much trouble since England had not looked like an international team in the matches played so far.

Predictions were well astray, however, for the All Blacks gave a dismal performance and were saved from an upset defeat only by Crowley’s goalkicking. The home backs were especially poor and England managed two tries to none in spite of the dominance of the New Zealand forwards.

Bad weather, high priced seats, a direct telecast and the predictions for an easy All Black win were no doubt responsible for the disappointing crowd. The weather cleared just before kick-off time but the ground was greasy and there were puddles around the perimeter.

After three minutes, Pierce incurred a penalty when he entered a ruck from the wrong side and Barnes kicked a good goal from the touchline. Crowley evened the score from a scrum penalty seven minutes later.

With half the first spell gone, Taylor threw a long pass to Kirwan with the home team hot on attack. Harrison intercepted to run 50 metres before touching down between the posts for Barnes to kick an easy goal.

Cooke was ruled offside from a scrum and Crowley kicked a goal from close range. The All Black full-back was on target again seven minutes later when the visitors were penalised for trying to pull down a scrum near the touchline in their own 22.

Melville kicked ahead from outside the home 22 and the ball rolled over the New Zealand line. The defence scrambled back but failed to force down and Teague threw himself on the ball for a try. Barnes failed to convert from a wide angle.

The visitors were penalised for handling in a ruck just before halftime and Crowley goaled from wide out on the 22 to make the score 13-12.

The second spell was half over when the referee penalised Dodge for standing inside the 10 metre line at a line-out. From 40 metres Crowley was successful with another penalty goal and New Zealand took the lead. The final points came when Cooke was penalised for jersey pulling, giving Crowley an easy shot at goal which he turned into points.

A feature of this rather drab game was the good performance of Crowley who, apart from equalling Don Clarke’s record of six penalty goals in a Test match, played a fine all-round game.

Kirk and Pierce also played well in their first international.

Last 10 Games played between the New Zealand v England
16-Nov-13 England 22-30 New Zealand Twickenham, London, Eng
1-Dec-12 England 38-21 New Zealand Twickenham, London, Eng
6-Nov-10 England 16-26 New Zealand Twickenham, London, Eng
21-Nov-09 England 06-19 New Zealand Twickenham, London, Eng
29-Nov-08 England 06-32 New Zealand Twickenham, London, Eng
21-Jun-08 New Zealand 44-12 England Jade Stadium, Christchurch, NZL
14-Jun-08 New Zealand 37-20 England Eden Park, Auckland, NZL
5-Nov-06 England 20-41 New Zealand Twickenham, London, Eng
19-Nov-05 England 19-23 New Zealand Twickenham, London, Eng
19-Jun-04 New Zealand 36-12 England Eden Park, Auckland, NZL
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Games Played 36 Games Played 36
*Games Won 28 *Games Won 7
*Games Lost 7 *Games Lost 28
Games Drawn 1 Games Drawn 1
*Longest Winning Streak 9 *Longest Winning Streak 2
*Longest Losing Streak 2 *Longest Losing Streak 9
*Largest Points For 64 *Largest Points For 38
*Largest Points Against 38 *Largest Points Against 64
*Largest Winning Margin 42 *Largest Winning Margin 17
*Largest Losing Margin -17 *Largest Losing Margin -42
*Total Points For 861 *Total Points For 484
*Avg Points For 23.92 *Avg Points For 13.44
*Total Points Against 484 *Total Points Against 861
*Avg Points Against 13.44 *Avg Points Against 23.92
*Total Points Difference 377 *Total Points Difference -377
*Avg Points Difference 10.47 *Avg Points Difference -10.47
* = By New Zealand * = By England

Story/Stat Sources : ; ;

Acknowledgement : Men in Black 1903-1993ISBN: 1 86958 061 3



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