The Rugby World Cup is underway in France, with the best teams from both the northern and southern hemispheres vying to get their hands on the sought-after Webb Ellis Cup. It’s a piece of silverware that has been dominated by nations south of the equator — as New Zealand, South Africa and Australia have combined to win all but one renewal of the tournament since it was inaugurated in 1987.
Wales definitely upset Australia’s hopes last weekend, having truly dominated the match from the outset – but they aren’t the first team to do so. England beat Australia after extra time in Sydney to win the Cup back in 2003.
Hosts France and World No.1-ranked side Ireland will be hoping to prove a thorn in the side of the southern hemisphere’s dominance this year though, and they are favourites to win the Webb Ellis Cup in the Rugby World Cup odds – but I wouldn’t rule out a win from the strong Welsh squad either, thriving back under Warren Gatland’s leadership.
There’s still a long way to go until this year’s winner is decided, however, with the final set to take place at the Stade de France on October 28. So, as we wait to see who will be crowned the world champions, let’s take a look at some of the most one-sided games in the tournament’s history.
1995: New Zealand 145-17 Japan
The highest-scoring game on record at the Rugby World Cup, New Zealand hammered Japan 145-17 in a pool game at the 1995 tournament in South Africa. The All Blacks scored an incredible 21 times at Free State Stadium, with Marc Ellis racking up six, while Eric Rush (x3), Jeffery Wilson (x3), Robin Brooke (x2) and Glen Osbourne (x2) were also multiple try scorers. New Zealand went on to lose the final to hosts South Africa.
2003: Australia 142-0 Namibia
The widest-winning margin in Rugby World Cup history, Australia gave the home crowd in Adelaide a night to remember as they beat Namibia 142-0. The Wallabies scored a mammoth 22 tries against the Africans, with Christ Latham on the scoresheet five times while Lote Tuqiri and Matt Giteau grabbed hat-tricks. Mat Rogers also scored twice, while converting 16 times for an impressive individual tally of 42 points.
2007: New Zealand 108-13 Portugal
It’ll come as no surprise given their sheer dominance in the sport and the fact that they are regular favourites in the rugby betting that the All Blacks feature on this list again. Portugal made their World Cup debut in 2007, however, they had a tournament to forget in France and were embarrassed by New Zealand in Lyon. The All Blacks scored 16 tries in the 108-13 victory, with Josevata Rokocoko scoring twice in the first 12 minutes, Aaron Mauger getting a try in both halves and Conrad Smith piling on more misery with a brace in the final 10 minutes.
1999: England 101-10 Tonga
The 1999 World Cup saw two teams put over 100 points on the board, with New Zealand beating Italy 101-3 and England smashing Tonga 101-10. The All Blacks’ is by a wider margin, but since they have featured twice already, let’s look at England. The 101-10 victory came at Twickenham and just 24 hours after New Zealand’s big win over Italy, with five different players scoring braces for England. Paul Grayson racked up 36 points from 12 conversions and four penalties, which is still a record for the most points in a World Cup match by any England player.
England put over a ton on the board again four years later, beating Uruguay 111-13 in Brisbane as they went on to win the World Cup in Australia.