May 6, 2021

TangataWhenua.com

Maori News & Indigenous Views

All Blacks win the first World Cup (1987)

1 min read

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On this day in 1987: With Michael Jones, John Kirwan and captain David Kirk scoring tries, the All Blacks defeated France 299 at Eden Park, Auckland. Kirk became the first captain to lift the Webb Ellis Cup.

The firstRugby World Cupwas hosted by New Zealand and Australia. Rugby powerhouse South Africa did not compete due to the international sports boycott that was in place because of its apartheid policies.

In the opening match of the tournament All Black winger John Kirwan ran almost the length of the field, beating most of the Italian team to score a memorable try. The All Blacks won 706 and went on to win their pool after comfortable victories over Fiji and Argentina.Their form carried over into the knockout phase, in which Scotland was defeated 303 and Wales 496 before the final showdown with France.

The Webb Ellis Cup proved to be an elusive holy grail for New Zealand players and fans. Despite heading the world rankings for most of the next 24 years, the All Blacks did not taste success again until 2011 when New Zealand once more hosted the tournament. The 2011 final was a repeat of 1987, France vs New Zealand. This time it was a near thing as the All Blacks hung on grimly to win 8-7.

The All Blacks have since been a dominate force on the field of Rugby.

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