3. Australia vs. New Zealand
A classic case of sibling rivalry which has turned into something a little more serious as the years have rolled past. For New Zealand, the opportunity to give big brother – at least in political, economic and geographical terms – a bloody nose a few times a year is one that is simply too good to be passed up.
As Steve Hansen, now the All Blacks head coach, put it in 2011: “We’ve gone to war and fought shoulder to shoulder. But they’re probably looked on as the big brother and we the little brother. And we want to belt them and they want to belt us.” Mostly the rivalry is knockabout stuff – in classic Aussie fashion, one of the country’s newspapers offered its readers a free voodoo doll of Sonny Bill Williams during the 2011 World Cup.