category: Fun Stuff
Simon Culhane (of Southland), playing at
flyhalf, scored 45 points in his test debut
for New Zealand, on June 4, in a 145-17 drubbing
of Japan at the 1995 World Cup. He scored one
try, which he converted and converted 19 other
tries (making 20 conversions altogether, another
record). He only missed one shot at goal all day
--- a minor miss of the one remaining try in the
All Black's tally. Interestingly, New Zealand
had no penalty goal attempts in the entire
match. Culhane's total was also a record
individual score for a World Cup final series
game and is the second highest individual score
ever in an international match. (The same game
also saw Marc Ellis, playing at centre, score a
record 6 tries in a test for New Zealand.) Not
all of Culhane's kicks were easy. Several tries
were out wide, and even into the sun, and
towards the end of the match a couple of try
scorers made little or no attempt to run their
tries in behind the posts!
This record on debut eclipsed the previous
record set only a month earlier by Andrew
Mehrtens. Mehrtens (of Canterbury), also playing
at flyhalf, scored 28 points in his test
debut for New Zealand against Canada in
Auckland, April 22, 1995. His tally included a
try (5), three penalty goals (9) and seven
conversions (14) and was only two points short
of the then third place (and once)
world record test score. New
Zealand won the game 73-7 in what was Canada's
heaviest defeat in an international. The game
was a build-up for both sides prior to the 1995
World Cup. (Mehrtens was rested for the above
World Cup pool game with Japan.)
Prior to these two feats the previous record
on debut had been 23 by Matthew Cooper, also of
Va`aiga Tuigamala was the first player to score a
5 point try.
In 1986 Bruce Hemara, All Black hooker was selected for the test match against France, was injured, replaced by Sean Fitzpatrick and never played a test match again.
The All Black Gary Knight was hit on the head with a flour bomb during the third test match
between South Africa and New Zealand in 1981. Luckily Gary was a former Commonwealth Games
wrestler and was able to play on.
In 1949 the All Blacks lost two tests matches in one day in different countries.
The All Ablacks lost to South Africa in South Africa and the players left behind
lost to Australia in New Zealand.