RWC #34: All Blacks put record score past Japan

Records tumble as New Zealand run riot in 1995 World Cup with Marc Ellis scoring six

Marc Ellis scored six tries in New Zealand’s record 145-17 win over Japan in 1995, a record which still stands today. Photograph: Getty

Marc Ellis scored six tries in New Zealand’s record 145-17 win over Japan in 1995, a record which still stands today. Photograph: Getty

 

The 2019 Rugby World Cup will prove a benchmark for the famous tournament as it ventures intoAsia and away from the sport’s top tier nations for the first time.

They may be having issues finishing off the main stadium in Tokyo, but in beating off South Africa and Italy to be awarded the ninth edition of the competition, Japan have shown rugby in the country is in rude health.

20 years ago however, Japan’s World Cup campaign merely served to highlight the huge gulf between the senior and junior nations.

Full of ideas and enthusiasm Japan actually put four tries past Ireland in Bloemfontein, but for all their running and ingenuity they found themselves bullied at set pieces, conceding two penalty tries and losing 50-28.

But then they came across New Zealand who, as is their style, were ruthless in exposing the lightweight underdogs.

In Blomfontein again the All Blacks set about dismantling Japan with typical brutal professionalism, smashing countless records as they ran out 145-17 winners, which remains the tournament’s highest points tally.

Centre Marc Ellis recorded six tries, which remains the most scored in a World Cup game, while Simon Culhane notched the highest ever number of conversions (20) and individual points (45).

It might sound hard to believe but things could have been a lot worse for Japan. This was a second-string All Blacks side, with the unstoppable Jonah Lomu among those absent.

Despite the endless stream of points, there was only one penalty scored in the entire game. And who slotted it? Japan’s Keiji Hirose.

Now that’s a pub quiz question if ever there was one.

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