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The Northampton Saints 30m scrum!

Bastareaud huge hit on Rory Lamont

All Blacks skills - Pt 2 In the backyard

Trinh-Duc sets up Harinordoquy try

Wales vs England 1999

Greg Holmes great hit on Francois Louw

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Classic Encounters - Wales vs All Blacks 2003 World Cup

Wales play New Zealand in Dunedin this weekend as they look to start their tour of Australia on a high note. As a bit of build up for the big game, here’s a match that we’ve not yet featured on here - the thriller from Sydney in the 2003 World Cup.

It was a match where Wales were expected to just roll over and concede defeat as the almighty All Blacks went about dismantling them on their way to the next round.

The Welsh had other ideas though, and despite being 28-10 down at one stage, produced an incredible comeback that saw them cording four tries without reply either side of halftime, going on to lead 34-28 before New Zealand realised what hit them.

Wales coach Steve Hansen had rested several key players but those who were on the park gave New Zealand the fright of their lives as stars were born through some inspired play.

Wing Shane Williams wasn’t all that well known at that stage, but by the second half the Australian commentators were yelling ‘Give the ball to Williams, he’s brilliant!’

Williams admitted a few years later: "My mother has the World Cup DVD somewhere and I'd be lying if I said I haven't watched it a few times. It was a great day for the likes of myself but we still came off that field as the losing team," he said.

The All Blacks were shaken but rallied well to pull things back and take the 53-37 win, managing to get out of jail in what would have been one of the biggest World Cup upsets to date.

Check out the related links under the video for other classic matches between the two sides.

Time: 07:32



  • What a match. All time classic. 2004 was good too

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 17, 2010 10:48 am  

  • ^ woops. That was me. Name included this time.

    By Anonymous Flinto, at June 17, 2010 10:50 am  

  • That was the first time I saw a cross-kick for a lock . And rokocoko look so skinny back then . And welsh played really well , what a pity that they lost .

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 17, 2010 11:05 am  


    woop woop GO rugbydump, what a classic game, shame Wales couldn't clinch it. The emergence of Shane Williams.

    By Anonymous David, at June 17, 2010 11:13 am  

  • I remember that match so well. Best world cup match that cup. Shame The Northern Hemisphere is a shadow of its former self. Will be a while till we see matches like these again.

    By Blogger Clinomaniac, at June 17, 2010 11:37 am  

  • Why did the Taffs rest players? I remember this being a 1/4 final, but I guess it might have been a pool match.

    Also, did anyone see Gethin Jenkins (?) almost keeping up with Rokocoko?

    By Anonymous Prop#3, at June 17, 2010 12:19 pm  

  • classic. but NZ looked so much sloppier than they have been ever since 2003. No wonder they lost to AUS in the semis!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 17, 2010 12:37 pm  

  • that 2nd howlett try was definitely forward!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 17, 2010 1:00 pm  

  • Ah, I remember this, back in the good old days when Rokocoko was good, and Tom Shanklin had hair.

    By Anonymous ScrumGuru, at June 17, 2010 1:12 pm  

  • RD, any highlights of history channel vs future shadow available?

    By Anonymous absolutely, at June 17, 2010 2:37 pm  

  • Wales and new zealand have produced some classics to date, but i'm afraid i can't see one in the next two weeks... Wales would have a huge task to win in New Zealand with a full team, and with the injuries and dubious selection (such as prydie,) Wales are ballsed.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 17, 2010 3:29 pm  

  • Wales and new zealand have produced some classics to date, but i'm afraid i can't see one in the next two weeks... Wales would have a huge task to win in New Zealand with a full team, and with the injuries and dubious selection (such as prydie,) Wales are ballsed.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 17, 2010 3:29 pm  

  • One of the most thrilling games I've ever seen. After getting in to rugby in the mid-late nineties that was amazing to see the Welsh play that well. Seemed to be the date they realised they could play rugby again. Came close to beating England a week later. Cheers for putting it up RD

    Also, doubt any New Zealanders complained about the forward pass for the second to last try.

    Also also, the commentator seemed quite disappointed when the inevitable was happening and NZ won

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 17, 2010 6:20 pm  

  • Arguably the greatest game of all time! This was also the year wales won the wooden spoon. just shows how they have the attacking talents to match anybody in the world just not everything else.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 17, 2010 6:26 pm  

  • Brilliant, thank you RugbyDump! I haven't seen the Charvis try since the game. I remember watching the match on a cold Manchester morning not believing what I saw when Shane Williams scored!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 17, 2010 8:15 pm  

  • Shane Williams ripped them to shreds all game.
    Amazing stuff.

    By Anonymous dole, at June 18, 2010 3:14 am  

  • Great Highlights. This game was just before I started watching rugby, so it was quite a sight!

    I must say, that except for an injury to Ali Williams this year, the All Blacks would be fielding the same second row pair this year as seven years ago! Does that say more about Ali and Brad, or the state of second rows in NZ?

    By Blogger granite, at June 18, 2010 3:29 am  

  • @Granite yeah good one except brad thorn left Nz rugby for a while, made it into state of origin, and still came back and made the ABs- there is no doubting his pedigree. Also Sam whitelock scored two tries on debut last week and Tom Donelley is looking good so there is huge competition. Also Isaac Ross was looking promising till he lost the plot this year but he will come right. There's also Boric etc. In short I'd say we have roughly 4-5 locks that would waltz into a Welsh squad.

    By Anonymous Max, at June 18, 2010 5:17 am  

  • sadly aaron mauger was a absolute talent...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 18, 2010 6:34 am  

  • We rested players because we had played Italy, were guaranteed to qualify for the QF and wanted to give England a run for their money.

    Watching this over breakfast, my bacon and eggs had gone cold at half time! I hadn't seen us play like that for a long time and while NZ were always comfortable, it was great fun. the 2004 match (26-25) was also a cracker.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 18, 2010 12:11 pm  

  • How wonderful was Rokoçoko... I hope he will come back in 2011, stronger as ever

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 18, 2010 10:42 pm  

  • 'while NZ were always comfortable'

    Kind of sums it up really that even when wales run riot over NZ for the mid-part of the game it's always in the back of the mind 'we'll still lose'..

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 19, 2010 4:44 pm  

  • How come the game looked so much quicker back then, without the ELVs, which were supposed to "Speed things up"??

    By Blogger vinniechan, at June 20, 2010 5:05 am  

  • cause defences werent as good as nowadays

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 22, 2010 6:38 pm  

  • Great Game you can find it in 10-11 parts on youtube

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 31, 2010 8:25 pm  

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