Aussies, Kiwis in needle clash

Aussies, Kiwis in needle clash

The trans-Tasman rivalry, traditionally fierce in rugby and cricket, has had less time to develop in soccer, but with both countries competing in the same World Cup for the first time, the teams are keen to head to South Africa with bragging rights secured, and with pain inflicted, if necessary.

“When it comes to playing Australia, all bets are off,” forward Rory Fallon told reporters this week as the All Whites gathered in Auckland for a training camp.
“I don't think anyone is going to hold back against them. I'm certainly not going to hold back.

“I wouldn't be surprised if there are a few injuries.”
Monday's friendly at the 100,000-capacity Melbourne Cricket Ground will be the team's first meeting in five years.  In A-grade matches, 20th-ranked Australia holds a 36-13 winning record over 78th-ranked New Zealand, many of whose players are in Australia's domestic A-League.

But the smaller of the Antipodean nations has been known to embarrass its more fancied neighbour on big occasions.

New Zealand upset Australia 1-0 in 1998 to advance to the Confederations Cup tournament and by the same score again for the same result four years later.