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.