Why the All Blacks adore Eden Park

It’s the home of New Zealand Rugby, has hosted two Rugby World Cup finals and generally sends shivers down the spines of visiting teams. Welcome to Eden Park, the Auckland venue that will host the first and third Tests of the British & Irish Lions series.

– The All Blacks’ unbeaten run at Eden Park dating back to 1994 is a fact well know throughout world rugby, nowhere more so than in Australia given the Wallabies’ winless stretch in Auckland runs even further back to 1984.

– So on the eve of the first Test between the All Blacks and Lions, we’ve dug deep into the history books with the help of Opta Stats to bring you some of the incredible numbers that reflect New Zealand’s love affair with Eden Park.

– The All Blacks haven’t lost at home so far this decade, winning 46 in a row on home soil since losing to South Africa in Hamilton in 2009, while at Eden Park New Zealand have won 37 games in a row since losing to France and drawing against South Africa in 1994.

– Only on five occasions in that winning run at Eden Park have the All Blacks failed to win by at least 10 points.

– Overall, the All Blacks have won 86% (69/81) of their games at Eden Park; of venues to have hosted 20+ Test matches, only Westpac Stadium, where the 2nd Test will be played, has seen a higher win percentage by any team (NZ – 90%, 19/21).

– During their 37-game winning run the All Blacks have scored 1,319 points, an average of 35.6 per game, and conceded just 510 in reply, an average of 13.8.

– The All Blacks have also scored at least one try in each of those 37 matches, averaging 4.1 per game (151 in total).

– The British & Irish Lions have won just once against the All Blacks at Eden Park (D1, L7), with that victory coming in September 1959.

– In fact, the Lions are winless in their last six games against New Zealand at the Auckland venue (D1, L5), while the last three games in that run saw the Lions lose by more than 15 points on each occasion.

– The All Blacks most recent match, last weekend against Samoa, saw them record their biggest win at the venue (78-0).

– Since the All Blacks last lost at Eden Park, 12 different sides have faced them at the venue with Australia the most frequent visitors (14 games); the Lions, Argentina, Canada, England, France, Ireland, Samoa, Scotland, South Africa, Tonga and Wales make up the rest of the sides who have left Eden Park since 1994 licking their wounds.

– Only Stu Wilson (9) has scored more tries at Eden Park than Julian Savea who has scored eight tries in eight games at the Auckland venue (Ma’a Nonu also 8).

– The All Blacks have trailed at half-time at Eden Park just four times in total during their 37-game winning run, each of those games coming more than two years apart (1995, 2006, 2009 v Australia & 2016 v Wales).

– In fact, the only teams to have lead the All Blacks at half-time and full-time at Eden Park since 1937 are Australia (four times) and France (two times).