Bounceblackability: How New Zealand respond to Test defeats

Beating the All Blacks once is hard enough but repeating the trick an even sterner task

Malakai Fekitoa scores in Dublin as the All Blacks bounced back from their defeat to Ireland with a 21-9 victory. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

There will be some optimism in the Lions camp as they head into the deciding third match of the series against New Zealand on Saturday. But the historians among the squad will be cautioned by the All Blacks’ ability to bounce back from not winning.

Not since they were beaten by South Africa and then Australia in 2011 have New Zealand lost two matches in succession and not since 2009 have the All Blacks lost consecutive games to the same team.

If the Lions were to score a win at the weekend they would be the first team in eight years to stop the All Black’s amazing ability to rebound after a draw or defeat in the previous match.

Ireland felt their wrath after winning 40-29 in Soldier Field, Chicago, when two weeks later New Zealand arrived in Aviva Stadium and won 21-9. On that occasion the All Blacks faced Italy in between but the record remained intact with a 68 points romp in Rome.


In 2015 Australia set up the possibility with a 27-19 victory in the ANZ Stadium. But at Eden Park the following week New Zealand had other ideas and the wallabies went down 41-13.

South Africa took a narrow 27-25 win at Ellis Park in 2014 but against Australia in the next match New Zealand again sealed the leakage winning 29-28.

In the same year Michael Cheika’s side drew 12-12, again in the ANZ Stadium. But to the All Blacks that was as bad as a defeat and they rolled Australia over 51-20 seven days later at Eden Park.

England were good enough to have a pop in Twickenham in December 2012 and ran out good winners 38-21. That closed off the tour but in New Zealand’s next match against France months later they again stopped the rot in June 2013 with a 23-13 defeat of France again in Eden Park.

Australia drew again 18-18 in October 2012 but when New Zealand arrived in Murrayfield for their next match they were in no mood to let anything slip and ran in 51 points at Murrayfield. Point made.

Since Steve Hansen took control of the side with his appointment in 2012 the All Blacks have had a win rate of over 90 per cent.

It is July 2009, when the Springboks won 28-18 in Bloemfontein and added a 31-19 win the following week in Durban where the Lions must look for inspiration. That was the last time the world number one side lost twice in a row to the same team.


November 5th 2016 Soldier Field, Ireland 40 NZ 29

November 19th Aviva Stadium, Ireland 9 NZ 21

August 8th 2015 ANZ Stadium, Australia 27 NZ 19

August 15th 2015 Eden Park, Australia 13 NZ 41

October 4th 2014 Ellis Park, South Africa 27 NZ 25

October 18th 2014 Sun Corp Stadium, Australia 28 NZ 29

August 16th 2014 ANZ Stadium, Australia 12 NZ 12

August 23rd 2014 Eden Park, Australia 20 NZ 51

December 1st 2012 Twickenham, England 38 NZ 21

June 8th 2013 Eden Park, France 13 NZ 23

October 20th 2012 Suncorp Stadium, Australia 18 NZ 18

November 12th 2012 Murrayfield, Scotland 22 NZ 51

The last team to defeat the All Blacks twice in succession was South Africa.

July 25th 2009 Vodacom Park, South Africa 28 NZ 19

August 1st 2009 ABSA Stadium, South Africa 31 NZ 19

Johnny Watterson

Johnny Watterson

Johnny Watterson is a sports writer with The Irish Times