It’s been a record-breaking season for the all-conquering New Zealand, with Steve Hansen’s men in black laying down the law to their fellow southern hemisphere giants in picking up another Rugby Championship.
The All Blacks stampeded to their fourth title since Argentina’s introduction five seasons ago, finishing a full 17 points clear of Australia in second place, and amassing 30 of their own with six try-scoring bonus points in six games.
And they still have a couple of international rugby milestones to reach in the coming weeks.
Beginning with their astounding season three years ago, here are 12 All Blacks records which put this Kiwi crop’s utter dominance of the international game into frightening context…
1) In 2013 they became the first team in the professional era to win every test they played during a calendar year, racking up their 14th victory in last-gasp circumstances in Dublin.
2) A 62-13 defeat of France at the 2015 Rugby World Cup in itself broke two records: 62 points is the most ever scored by a team in a single match during the knockout phase of the World Cup. It’s also the most France have ever conceded in a single international test.
3) As of 22 October 2016, the All Blacks have won a record 45 consecutive tests at home; the last side to visit New Zealand and emerge victorious was South Africa in 2009, during a run which saw Graham Henry’s men win just four from eight tests.
4) Since defeat to Australia on August 8th, 2015, the current New Zealand crop have won 18 tests on the spin, breaking the record for Tier 1 nations with a resounding victory over the same opposition last weekend.
5) Back in August, the Blacks rolled down to Sydney and walloped the Wallabies by 42 points to 8. The 34-point margin was the biggest Australia have ever conceded to the All Blacks on home soil. New Zealand out-scored the Wallabies by six tries to one.
6) In mid-October, the Kiwis recorded their biggest ever test win over South Africa, downing the Boks away from home by a scoreline of 57-15. Incredibly, South Africa led 12-9 at the break following a tryless half. In the second half, however, Steve Hansen’s men ran over nine tries to South Africa’s none, in what many now consider one of the greatest 40 minutes of rugby witnessed in the professional era.
7) New Zealand have gone 11 straight tests with a win by more than a converted try, going back to the Rugby World Cup semi-final against South Africa which they won 20-18. This is Tier 1 nation record, with only the mighty Cyprus (14) and Brazil (13) winning more consecutive games by over seven points.
Two interesting historical All Blacks records…
8) New Zealand have won 74 of their 99 Tri Nations/Rugby Championship fixtures since the tournament’s inception 21 seasons ago. To put that into perspective, Australia have just 42 wins from the same number of games, while South Africa have 40 victories to their name.
9) They are also the only team in the competition to have a positive points difference on the all-time standings; They have scored 1010 more points than they have conceded, while the Wallabies have a points difference of -299, and South Africa stand at -316.
Two more records that the All Blacks can break this year…
10) As per The New Zealand Herald, the current All Blacks crop have also gone 10 straight tests scoring four or more tries – another Tier 1 record. They can break this and match Cyprus’ overall record if they cross the whitewash four times in Chicago against Ireland, and could even go on to beat the overall record if they repeat the feat in their following test versus Italy in Rome.
11) New Zealand have also won 10 consecutive away tests – two short of the overall record achieved by Brazil between 2006 and 2008, and one off second-placed Argentina (who, incredibly, didn’t lose an away game between 1936 and 1964). Again, New Zealand can emerge on top of this pile at the end of the Autumn internationals.
And finally, one for the road…
12) They remain the only Tier 1 nation to have never lost to Ireland.