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It's Been Exactly 20 Years Since We All Witnessed 'The Greatest Test Ever Played'

Max Sherry


It's Been Exactly 20 Years Since We All Witnessed 'The Greatest Test Ever Played'

Two world-class teams. One exhilarating finish. A golden era of rugby.

20 years ago today, rugby fans from across the globe sat back in awe of what they'd just witnessed.

The 2000 Bledisloe Cup opener between the Wallabies and All Blacks on July 15 would later become known as the 'greatest Test ever played' - and for good reason.

Now, exactly two decades on, it has well and truly stood the test of time.

Played in front of a record crowd of 109,874 supporters in Sydney, the back-and-fourth match-up had those inside the stadium on the edge of their seats. As for the rest of us that missed out on the highly sought-after tickets, we were glued to whatever TV we could find.

And with Australia leading 35-34 after 83 minutes of non-stop play (that's right, the siren for full-time was a distant memory), it came down to the final play of match for Jonah Lomu to deliver yet another memorable sporting moment.

Receiving a clever pass from loose forward Taine Randell in the dying embers of the game, man mountain Lomu drifted past Stephen Larkham like the 1999 World Cup-winner wasn't even there before tip-toeing down the sideline.

The roaring crowd went silent for a fraction of a second.

Keeping his balance beautifully, the powerhouse winger ran in to score the match-winning try - causing those in the stands wearing all black to erupt.

The Wallabies players instantly collapsed to the Stadium Australia turf while runaway hero Lomu was congratulated by his New Zealand teammates.

The score ended 39-35. Talk about leaving it late.

While the state of the game today isn't up to the lofty standards that it should be, looking back at this gripping spectacle 20 years on offers a small glimpse into the brighter days of rugby union.

Those baggy shirts, torn-up pitches, sold-out stadiums and 22 men wanting to tear each others heads off - does it get any better? If rugby can return to anything that resembles that historic night in Sydney on July 15, us fans will be happy.

Topics: New Zealand, News, All Blacks, Wallabies, Rugby Union, Australia

Max Sherry
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