The Top 5 Wallaby Victories Away from Home

The Top 5 Wallaby Victories Away from Home

How good was that? Pretty good but when you stop to think about it, many of us who’ve watched the Wallabies play since the world cup draw was made have thought, more often than not after a game, “The poms will still scrum us off the park”.

So, now we’re all basking in the victory and in keeping with theme of having as many patented GAGR top 5 lists as we can, park your peepers on my selections for the “Top 5 Greatest Wallaby Away Wins of All Time”.  (To be updated 31 October 2015 – Ed.)

Number 5.

December 8 1984.  Going back a bit here but the 1984 Grand Slam marked Australia as a true heavy weight side and to win this match to get our first (and to date only) grand slam we had to beat Scotland, who, just to make it interesting, had won a Grand Slam of their own earlier in the year. It was all on the line and in what turned out to a be master class of smart Wallaby rugby (Farr-Jones’ try nutmegged the Scots properly), great interplay, set moves and a willingness to chance their arms when it was on saw the Wallabies run out 37-12 winners.  Campo’s final try was a real gem and was the perfect way to announce to the world what Australia already knew – we have a bloody good team.  If the Wallabies had lost this one, it would have meant Europe’s best is ahead of us. As it was, the scoreline ended the debate there.

Number 4.

5 August 2000. Wellington, New Zealand.  3 weeks previously “the greatest game ever played” had seen New Zealand pip Australia in the dying seconds of a ripper of a match.  That meant World Champions had the Bledisloe Cup and bragging rights to lose in front of 36,000 screaming kiwis.  The Wallabies started with a scintillating Dan Herbert break to put Stirling over and then Joe Roff barged across for a score.  Later in the half Anton Oliver for once missed John Eales in the line out and Cullen went over for a pearler of a set piece try.  The New Zealanders led for most of the rest of the match but this was a special Wallaby team who just knew how to win and to keep in touch to allow that.  Deep into injury time they won a penalty and, as ‘Nobody’ would later recall, he looked around for Stirling to take the kick but realised Stirlo was on the sidelines so he would have to take it himself. And take it he did, breaking New Zealand hearts in the process for a famous win.

Number 3.

Yep, I have Saturday night’s/Sunday AM’s win at number 3.  I know we didn’t win/retain a cup or do a grand slam but let’s put the match in context. Like I said at the top, a good many of us have been pretty itchy about this game for a good long while.  Added to which, the last three times we’ve met these guys in a RWC we’ve lost, twice to a bloody drop goal. Yep, 95, 03 and 07 they’ve put us out.  We had been pretty well out muscled on all three occasions and there were a lot of questions about whether we could avoid it again. And did we how! Putting them out of their own world cup at the group stage can’t upstage them winning in Sydney but it’s a good way to get 2007 out of the system.

For me, the manner of the win, smashing them at the scrum, owning the breakdown and slicing through for well worked tries and all that mental baggage of world cups past gets this into the list.  The manner of the win bought a sense of joyous relief to Wallaby fans who were distinctly nervous about the monkey on our back who kept singing about bloody chariots!  Maybe I am going over the top, if we lose to the Welsh it might all prove to be a false dawn. But, for the first time in a while, I am genuinely optimistic about how we are playing from 1 to 23.  And I am still wrapped in the moment and it’s my list, so here it is.


Number 2.

The 1999 rugby world cup final.  After that epic semi final win over the Boks previous weekend we all spent 24 hours wondering if we could do it again against the Jonah Lomu inspired juggernaught of NZ. Turns out the French had some other ideas but as we know, they’d shot their lot and couldn’t quite get to the same heights two weeks running.  Despite some fingers in nasty places, the Wallabies held their nerve and by the time John Taylor was yelling at Owen Finnegan to “go for the line man” Bill was ours again.

Number 1

November 2 1991, Twickenham, England. Oh the memories. 2 years before the Lions had been to our shores and won and Campo had thrown “that pass”. The English press had been into him the whole week leading up to the game with headlines like “Watch him fumble whenever you want”.  It was of no matter that the week previous he had thrown the real “that pass” to Helmut Horan and sent New Zealand out, as far as they were concerned the cup was in the bag on the back of a chariot already.  Campo gave it right back and said “the English can’t run the ball”. He was right, for try as they might, they couldn’t.  In the end, although he got within a oval ball’s bounce of a try, it was Link whose name ended up on the score sheet, Bill was ours and a small patch of west London was for ever Australia.


Let’s hear from the historians out there about matches I’ve missed!


G&GR’s chief economics and business reporter at large who is now allowed to write the odd match related article. A player who always preferred to social aspect of the game to training and was therefore a tragic loss to the professional ranks. Tweets can be seen at @skandahooligan

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