04 SUZIE

NZ Rugby World - - Outside Influences -

The events of the 1995 World Cup are writ large in New Zealand his­tory. Ev­ery Kiwi knows that hav­ing stormed their way into the fi­nal play­ing in­cred­i­ble rugby, the All Blacks froze on the big day, played poorly and lost to the Boks at El­lis Park.

What ev­ery Kiwi has also come to know is that the All Blacks, en masse, were sick – hor­ri­bly so – the day of the game. The team had suf­fered a bout of food poi­son­ing and many of them were in ter­ri­ble phys­i­cal shape be­fore and dur­ing the game.

The ques­tion that has come to dom­i­nate con­ver­sa­tions is how did the team con­tract this mass poi­son­ing? Lau­rie Mains, coach of the team at that World Cup, is con­vinced it was de­lib­er­ate.

He is adamant that the team were poi­soned by a lady work­ing in the team ho­tel who has come to be known as Suzie. The quest for an­swers has been re­lent­less and be­cause none have emerged, there is still a feel­ing of re­sent­ment and dis­ap­point­ment about 1995 that goes be­yond the sim­ple pain of los­ing.

“I don’t think any of them will ever get over it com­pletely be­cause if you play to the best of your abil­ity on a given day, be­cause of some out­side in­flu­ence – and I am not point­ing the fin­ger any­where – be­cause of some out­side in­flu­ence, it will bug you for­ever,” says former All Black Brian Lo­chore.

STILL LOOK­ING No ev­i­dence ever ma­te­ri­alised to sup­port the the­ory that the All Blacks were poi­soned at the 1995 World Cup.

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