Apart from maybe the USA’s American Football team, no international sporting side has been as dominant on the international scene as the All Blacks over the past 10 years.
To put things into perspective, since 25th July 2009 the All Blacks have an 88% win percentage in international tests (their nearest rival the Springboks percentage currently stands at 66%), scoring 297 tries in the process (89 more than the next tier 1 side Argentina who have scored 208).
In the last six years, they have also scored more than 50 points in a game on 10 separate occasions, which is twice as many as the Springboks. They are also the only tier 1 nation to maintain a scrum success record about 90% (91%), and their line out success rate is at 87%, just 1% behind South Africa and England.
The All Blacks have also averaged 9.8 clean breaks per game (3.4 more per game than their nearest rival the Wallabies), and average more metres per carry than any other team in the world (4.4 to England’s 4.1).
Over the last 10 years, these ridiculous performance levels have meant the All Blacks have remained the top ranked team in the world for all but a couple of short dips (the last being in July 2009 for three months). They have also claimed a World Cup title during this period of dominance, and look on course to become the first side to retain the title.
Losing just 10 tests in the last six years is an unbelievable tally, and one that has seen them become firm favourites to claim the World Cup title in 2015. However, is there such a thing as being too dominant? Does there become a point where fans have all but given up hope of beating them before a game has even begun?
Now obviously there have been occasional results that give fans hope such as England’s victory in 2012 at Twickenham, and the Springboks late victory last year. The issue however is that these kinds of results are becoming increasingly rare occasions, especially when it comes to teams travelling to New Zealand.
Whilst you cannot deny that the All Blacks are more than deserving of their success, the concern is that international rugby begins to become a bit boring when results against certain sides are so predictable. At present, how many balanced fans would put real money on their team beating the All Blacks at the World Cup this year?
As we saw at the 2007 World Cup, form is no guarantee as the All Blacks went crashing out in the quarter finals, although it’s fair to say they’ve come a long way since that stage. With this in mind, do you think the All Blacks dominance could soon become boring, or do you think it is naturally par for the course?
*Stats courtesy of Opta