By the time the quarter-finals of Rugby World Cup 1995 arrived, there was a growing sense of anticipation every time Jonah Lomu set foot onto the pitch.
And Scotland were the next in line to try and stop the rampaging wing who’d gone from relative unknown to overnight superstar in just a few short few weeks in South Africa.
Lomu had been rested for the All Blacks' record 145-17 win against Japan but came back with a bang in a match you can see in its entirety via our live streaming service on the official Rugby World Cup Facebook page and World Rugby’s YouTube channel, on Friday at 19:00 BST.
“To play against Jonah Lomu was the ultimate test although he was still relatively unknown at the time. I was pretty quick and there weren’t that many people I could show the outside to and not catch, but he was phenomenally fast for such a big man and incredibly light on his feet too,” recalls Scotland winger Craig Joiner.
Five minutes into the match at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria, Joiner and his team-mates saw at first hand the enormity of the task – and the man himself – as Lomu ran half the length of the field, brushing off the attempts of several would-be tacklers, to set up a try for Walter Little.
Later in the half, he scored himself to help the All Blacks into a 17-9 lead at the break.
The second half was a riot of running rugby as spaces opened up in both defences. Frank Bunce and Andrew Mehrtens crossed for the All Blacks before Little added a second, while Scotland captain Gavin Hastings marked his international swansong with a try, following on from Doddie Weir’s brace.
At the time, the 30 points Scotland scored in the 48-30 defeat was the most they had managed in a test without going on to win the game.
If Scotland thought they’d had it rough, Lomu went on to give England an even more torrid time in the semi-finals with four tries in a performance that ensured his place in rugby immortality and in the World Rugby Hall of Fame.
New Zealand v Scotland is the first of three classic Rugby World Cup matches being shown by World Rugby this weekend:
- Saturday, 18 April – Ireland v Argentina – RWC 2015 – 19:00 BST
- Sunday, 19 April – Ireland v New Zealand – RWC 2014 – 16:00 BST