RWC #25: Zinzan Brooke drops outrageous goal against England

The All Blacks start 1995 semi-final with a bang scoring 25 points in the first 25 minutes

Zinzan Brooke scored a stunning drop goal as New Zealand blew England out of the water in the 1995 Rugby World Cup semi-final. Photograph: Getty

Zinzan Brooke scored a stunning drop goal as New Zealand blew England out of the water in the 1995 Rugby World Cup semi-final. Photograph: Getty

 

It seems ridiculous to think now but in the lead up to the 1995 World Cup New Zealand were, for once, not necessarily the favourites.

In 1994 the All Blacks had lost a two-match series at home to France for the first time ever, as well as losing the Bledisloe Cup to Australia. Indeed captain Sean Fitzpatrick had said before the tournament, “We don’t mind being cast as underdogs,” which is a very un-All Black thing to say.

However once things got underway in South Africa it was clear Laurie Mains side were going to be almost impossible to stop, they were playing expansive, adventurous, powerful rugby as they cruised into the last four.

They would play England in the semi-finals in Cape Town. Jack Rowell’s side were quite a daunting prospect, they were bigger than the All Blacks up front and had the ice-cool Rob Andrew pulling the strings.

However If England had a weakness, reckoned New Zealand legend Brian Lochore, it was their inability to chase a game. To exploit this, the All Blacks would have to start quickly.

And start quickly they did. After two minutes Jonah Lomu trampled over Mike Catt to cross for the first of his four scores deliver an already potentially critical blow to England.

Moments later Walter Little picked up Bachup’s pass off his boot laces and soon New Zealand had moved the length of the pitch, Josh Kronfield crossing the line and stretching the lead.

Andrew Mehrtens kicked a penalty to keep up the All Black’s pressure on the scoreboard before Will Carling tried to clear England’s lines with a big kick which was collected by New Zealand’s number eight Zinzan Brooke.

Brooke had caught the ball 50 metres out and near the right touchline. He dropped for goal and it went over.

The Newlands crowd were opened mouthed and disbelieving. It was a moment of sheer cheek and ingenuity which should never have come off.

But it did. The momentum was all with the All Blacks and after 25 minutes they had scored 25 points.

Game over.

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