Tri Nations Rugby

James Murray By James Murray, 13th Apr 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/1rn_kf7j/
Posted in Wikinut>Gambling>Sports Betting>Sporting Events

A look at the annual Tri Nations Rugby tournament played between the three powerhouses of Southern Hemisphere Rugby Union, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia.

What you need to know about the Tri Nations

The annual Tri Nations rugby union championship, as is well known is the Southern Hemisphere’s equivalent of the Six Nations and has been contested since its inception in 1996 by New Zealand, South Africa and Australia. However from 2012 it will become known as the ‘Four Nations’ when Argentina join the tournament after accepting an invitation to do so by the Unions of the three current member countries, known as SANZAR.

Unlike the Six Nations, the Tri Nations series is played on a home and away basis but SANZAR decided to change the format in 2005 from playing each other twice to three times thus lengthening the series, but this will revert back to a double round robin event now that Argentina has joined.

Each fixture played between the teams is not only about winning the points available but also to claim the trophies that have been put up. For instance, the Bledisloe Cup will always be awarded to the winners of the New Zealand v Australia matches, the Freedom Cup is contested for when South Africa meet New Zealand and the Mandela Challenge Plate is up for grabs each time Australia play South Africa.

Although many would argue to the contrary, it would be unfair to say that New Zealand has totally dominated this series but what is for certain is that they have been the dominant nation, winning ten tournaments against the three won by South Africa and the two by Australia. In 2010 the ‘All Blacks’ created a new record by becoming the first team to win the series by winning all six matches; the equivalent of a Six Nations Grand Slam.

New Zealand also holds the record for the number of consecutive series wins with four titles between 2005 and 2008. This run was halted by the Springboks in 2009 who took the series with five wins equalling the previous record that had been created by the All Blacks in 2006.

Overall in terms of matches played in the series, New Zealand comfortably top the table with 48 wins from 68 played. The Springboks and the Wallabies have remarkably similar statistics, with the former winning 27, drawing once and losing 40, while the latter has 26 wins, one draw and 41 defeats.

Unsurprisingly it is the All Blacks who top the individual points scoring tables too, with current fly half, Dan Carter holding the record for points scored of 363, which is 35 more than his positional predecessor, Andrew Mehrtens. In third place comes former Wallaby full back, Matt Burke on 271.

In terms of tries scored the record is held by former All Black full back, Christian Cullen with 16, who is followed by his former team mates Joe Rokocoko on 15 and Doug Howlett on 13. The forward who holds the record for the most tries scored is current All Black captain, Richie McCaw with 11 which incredibly makes him fourth on the all time list!

Of course New Zealand will be hosting the 2011 World cup later this year and will hope to carry their Tri Nations form into the competition, something that in the past they have never really managed to do. They are usually made the favourites to win the world cup, as they are again this year, but so far despite easily being the best team in the world, after six tournaments they have only won once, which came in the inaugural competition in 1995. Even more surprisingly is the fact that they have only made one other final which came in 1995, where they lost to South Africa by 15-12 and which has become the focal point of a recent Hollywood blockbuster called ‘Invictus’, starring Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman.

Tri Nations Information

SANZAR
Tri Nations Rugby Guide
South African Rugby
Australian Rugby
New Zealand Rugby

Tags

All Blacks, Australia, New Zealand, Rugby, Rugby Union, South Africa, Springboks, Tri Nations, Wallabies

Meet the author

author avatar James Murray
James Murray here, free-lance journalist who writes for both online and print publications. My specialist area is sports related subject so that's where my wiki contributions will focus...

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