Kiwis must overcome their British demons
In 2005, Elland Road in Leeds was the scene of one of the greatest upsets in international Rugby League history, a night when an arguably second-string Kiwi side bucked the odds and handed Australia its first tournament defeat since the 1972 World Cup.
Not only was it an historic win, it was an emphatic one as well with the New Zealanders running out convincing 24-0 victors. It turned the international game on its head and kick-started the nation’s historic silverware collection.
It was however very much an exception to the rule for Kiwi tours to the region, with the United Kingdom being an unhappy (bordering on miserable) hunting ground for the New Zealanders over the past decade.
Out of the past five tours by the black-and-whites, the Kiwis have recorded just three Test victories out of 14 matches against either the Kangaroos or Great Britain/England, with two of them coming in their historic 2005 Tri Nations tour. Outside of that, their only other victory was in their opening Test of the 2002 Kiwi tour, in Blackburn.
Even in their most recent British tour, the Kiwis were only able to secure a draw out of their two Four Nations games based in the United Kingdom – including a surprise loss to England in one of the Kiwis' bogy cities, Huddersfield.
In this year’s Four Nations the Kiwis are due to take on England in their other bogy city, Hull – a venue the New Zealanders have not won a Test match at since they defeated France 16-15 in the 1970 Rugby League World Cup at The Boulevard. Worse, they have never defeated an England or Great Britain Test side in the city since first visiting for an international back in 1926, and were handed one of their largest defeats on British soil last time they headed there, losing 44-0 in 2007.
The city for their opening encounter against the Kangaroos is less daunting for the tourists, however, with the Kiwis winning their last Warrington Test match 25-24 against Tonga in the 1995 Rugby League World Cup. But they will certainly need luck if they are to successfully defend their Four Nations trophy.
New Zealand results in the UK:
2002 New Zealand Tour of Great Britain & France:
9th November: New Zealand 30 defeated Great Britain 16 in Blackburn
16th November: New Zealand 14 drew with Great Britain 14 in Huddersfield
23rd November: Great Britain 16 defeated New Zealand 10 in Wigan
2004 Tri Nations Series:
23rd October : Australia 32 defeated New Zealand 12 in London
6th November: Great Britain 22 defeated New Zealand 12 in Huddersfield
20th November: Great Britain 26 defeated New Zealand 24 in Hull
2005 Tri Nations Series:
29th October: New Zealand 42 defeated Great Britain 26 in London
12th November: Great Britain 38 defeated New Zealand 12 in Huddersfield
26th November: New Zealand 24 defeated Australia 0 in Leeds
2007 All Golds Tour of Great Britain & France:
27th October: Great Britain 20 defeated New Zealand 14 in Huddersfield
3rd November: Great Britain 44 defeated New Zealand 0 in Hull
10th November: Great Britain 28 defeated New Zealand 22 in Wigan
2009 Four Nations Series:
24th October: Australia 20 drew with New Zealand 20 in London
7th November: England 20 defeated New Zealand 12 in Huddersfield