New Zealand this Thursday celebrate eight years at the top of the World Rugby rankings and fascinating stats revealed by World Rugby, show their dominance of the world game.
Rugby’s most successful team took over the Number 1 spot from South Africa on November 16, 2009 and have not relinquished top spot since then.
The All Blacks currently hold a 3.69 point advantage over second-placed England but will not play their nearest rival until next autumn.
But they have seen this advantage almost halved in the last year after going into last year’s November internationals with a whopping 7.08 points advantage over the second ranked side.
This is due to the fact that Eddie Jones’ side won back-to-back Six Nations titles, leading to the gap closing.
Amazingly, they have been top of the tree for a mind-boggling 87.22% of the time since the rankings were introduced in October 2003, with only two-time World Cup winners South Africa and 1999 winners England the only other teams to hold the coveted spot.
Their record over the last eight years shows exactly why they have been so dominant, with the Kiwis having only lost nine times in 108 Tests, racking up a phenomenal 96 wins with three draws.
New Zealand’s amazing attacking prowess is highlighted in the fact that they have scored an amazing 472 tries and 3,811 points.
Neighbours Australia, who they defeated in the 2015 Rugby World Cup final, have had the most success against them during this period, earning four wins with the latest coming last month, while the struggling Springbok are in second place, having triumphed over them twice.
Ireland and England the only other teams to have managed to beat them during this time.
The following stats show how the All Blacks have dominated the sport in the last eight years:
- Two World Cup successes
- Fourteen wins in 2013 to go through the calendar year unbeaten
- Eighteen Test wins in a row
- 2,922 days in a row atop the rankings
- 108 Tests played in these eight years, winning 96, losing only nine
- 472 tries in those Tests
These stats are truly mind-boggling and underline why the All Blacks are probably the greatest team in modern sport.
And while the likes of England, Australia and Ireland are narrowing the gap on them, expect them to remain in top spot for a long-time yet.
Hefin Jones, Puundit Arena
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