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6762 Topic: Perfect season beckons for great All Blacks side (& the risks related to it) by DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
Just_win

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Perfect season beckons for great All Blacks side (& the risks related to it) by DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
October 14, 2013, 07:44:37

The desire to complete a perfect season will drive the All Blacks to maintain their standards when they confront Australia in the Bledisloe Cup dead rubber in Dunedin next Saturday.

Soaking up the accolades from last Sunday's stunning 38-27 win over the Springboks in Johannesburg won't distract Steve Hansen's squad for the task in hand.

They will have noticed that a few hours after they claimed what is being hailed as one of the greatest All Blacks wins, the Wallabies finally found their groove under new coach Ewen McKenzie, delivering a record 52-17 win against the Pumas in the difficult environment Argentina presents.  

A Bledisloe meeting under the roof in Dunedin presents the opportunity for further heroics.

Rating All Blacks victories is never an easy assignment, given their rich history in the game as test rugby's most successful team.  

Great has become a cliché for the All Blacks.

Rather than isolating a single test - as mighty as beating the Boks in their spiritual home was - perhaps there is more sense in evaluating the bigger picture.

It would be easier to claim that right now, the All Blacks are in the midst of one of their greatest eras.

The last four years have netted a World Cup and virtually every other piece of silverware on offer.

Since a sloppy 2009 saw the All Blacks lose four matches, they have put together a remarkable record.

This week's clash with the Wallabies will be their 50th test since June 2010. Of the 49 they have played, they have won 44, lost only four and drawn one.

Two of the losses came when they shuffled their squad on the eve of the 2011 World Cup, slipping up in Port Elizabeth and Brisbane.

Since then it's been almost blemish-free, a draw with the Wallabies and last year's unexpected loss to England in London the only hiccups.

They are now on a nine-test unbeaten run and a perfect calendar year is there for the taking. Australia in Dunedin is followed by Japan in Tokyo, France in Paris, England in London and Ireland in Dublin.

The All Blacks' ability to maintain their incredibly high standards over the past four years is a credit to their coaches, selectors, general management and, of course, their players.

Last week's triumph at Ellis Park was a performance waiting to happen for a team that thrives on challenging themselves as much as accepting the best their opponents offer.

But was it really any better than the last-gasp 29-22 thriller against the Boks in Soweto in 2010? Or the come-from-behind 32-16 demolition of the Boks in Soweto last year?

Don't forget, it takes two to tango and the Boks deserve credit for the part they played, not just last weekend but in all three of these classics, to remind us that they remain the All Blacks' toughest foe.

Games blur quickly in the modern environment, with so many tests played. That's why it might be better to simply bunch these three "great" victories into the one "great" era.

To produce the sort of consistency that has emerged over the past four years, the All Blacks have unveiled an unprecedented depth of talent.

By the time the final whistle sounded in Johannesburg last Sunday, it was the All Blacks third choice first-five Beauden Barrett who was being hailed the star of the show.

It wasn't long ago that the nation's knees knocked the moment Dan Carter got injured.

But consider the talent that has emerged at halfback and second row, look at the way Ben Smith has taken over from Cory Jane on the right wing, and how Julian Savea has slipped into the No 11 jersey to resemble another XXL island winger.

How good has Sam Cane been in Richie McCaw's absences?

Coping with these sorts of hurdles while maintaining your place at the head of the field is what truly defines greatness.

And central to the success of the past four remarkable years has been the seamless coaching transition from Sir Graham Henry to Hansen. This has allowed not just a continuation of successful systems but also an improvement.

- © Fairfax NZ News

 


Just_win

Status: Rugby Legend
Posts: 6005
RE: Perfect season beckons for great All Blacks side (& the risks related to it) by DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
October 14, 2013, 07:49:08
The All Blacks always have a tough task as they strive to maintain a perfect record while building for the next RWC. Other nations don't have this as such a single-minded goal so they can experiment more with new players & even their game plans.

Simply put the New Zealand fans expect the ABs to win everything and this reduced the flexibility the coach has and increases the risk in the RWC.


Wardad

Status: Bok regular
Posts: 1672
RE: Perfect season beckons for great All Blacks side (& the risks related to it) by DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
October 14, 2013, 12:47:38
 Watched the test in which Dagg and Ranger both debut last night ,and both scored on debut as well ! Poor old Smitty eh ?


sasuke uchiha

Status: Rugby Legend
Posts: 5836
RE: Perfect season beckons for great All Blacks side (& the risks related to it) by DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
October 14, 2013, 17:00:59
i hate that im nervous about the beldisloe dead rubber, :'(

we are by far the better team, but i can see the wallabies come out and play like their lives depended on it and the All Blacks being a little off like in 2012 when almosta year to the date we were in the same exact cir[removed]stances, except this time wallabies arent in their fortress of suncorp and have under mackenzie been worse then the wallabies last year who faced a huge injury crisis.

i really hate that im nervous about this mtach, i was a little worried before the first beldisloe test, but mackenzie had opened his big mouth waaaaaay too many times before then, so i knew the All Blacks would come through, and they came through with a wicked hiding to shut up mackenzie.

i also wasnt once worried about the Boks in both ellis and eden park, it wouldnt have been a complete a shock if the Boks won in either ground, but the reality was simple, none of the the Boks opponents in 2013 played a better game then the All Blacks worst game in 2013.
after the formality of eden park was done and dusted with, it was obvious that poite was going to cop all the blame instead of the useless tactics the Boks employed on the night, so ellis park being a fortress had me going yawwwwwn with my only dilemma being how much the All Blacks will win by.
Boks did surprise me with a great expansive game, its a pity their expansive running game brain is still under developed.

but that is all in the past now and all that matters now is the future, we have three teams to overcome in order to see our 100% record in a rugby season come true, wallabies, france and england.

hopefully my jitters for the dunedin test is cos ive had no reasons to have any jitters all year, but i want us to avenge the shocking way we celebrated kevs 100th test match by giving him a draw, unacceptable boys and nows ur chance to get some proper paypack.


Rooinek

Status: Bok regular
Posts: 1610
RE: Perfect season beckons for great All Blacks side (& the risks related to it) by DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
October 14, 2013, 20:04:14
Sasuke, for some reason that I can't quite put my finger on, this game has "banana peel" written all over it.


mozart

Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 8695
RE: Perfect season beckons for great All Blacks side (& the risks related to it) by DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
October 15, 2013, 05:58:17
Hahaha....and I can predict the two bananas who will be slipping on the peel.


Beeno1

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Posts: 11943
RE: Perfect season beckons for great All Blacks side (& the risks related to it) by DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
October 15, 2013, 22:17:53
 Rooitwit you could be right. The bubble has to burst.
As I noted the Boks were the better side in 3 of the last 4 tests we played against tem but we didnt get the reward of the win.
These abs are vastly overated and especially their burgled world cup where the French comprehensively outplayed then but were shafted by our own Craig Joubert. 
How many tests have biased refs handed to them on a plate.  Such has been this bias that journalists around the wolrd have noted it. When a record is built up in this fashion over YEARS it means ZIP.

Now the hatters actually believe their own hype! Bwahahahahahaha are they in for a big surprise. Hopefully my little reality checks will let them down more gently.


Wardad

Status: Bok regular
Posts: 1672
RE: Perfect season beckons for great All Blacks side (& the risks related to it) by DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
October 16, 2013, 05:15:42
 Only burst bubble here is the one in your skull beanhead ! You do realize that if you lose 4 games in a row to one side that makes the other team the better of the  2
Do saffas do anything but whinge and whine like pre-menstrual gurly guys ? 
You do know that in Rugby as in most games one cares to name the team with the MOST POINTS AT THE END OF THE GAME is the winner ,I suppose the only way for the boks to get a win is to have a phone vote for only SA numbers at the games end like dancing with has-beens or some such rubbish .
And zip is the bok record for the last 2 years isnt it ? If the ABS are over rated what does that make the boks ? utterly useless ? same for the entire rugby world then including England despite their once a decade win .
The boks will never catch up to the ABS winning record the gap is getting wider every year and not likely to change even if you start a really really big face book thingy and whine like jet engines only like you know ,louder ?


black adder

Status: Baby Bok
Posts: 190
RE: Perfect season beckons for great All Blacks side (& the risks related to it) by DUNCAN JOHNSTONE
October 16, 2013, 07:12:56

 Another Test rugby record looms into view for the All Blacks this weekend but, as usual, their motivation lies elsewhere.

 

Victory over Australia in the third Bledisloe Cup Test at Dunedin on Saturday would be New Zealand's 30th in succession on home soil.

 

It will equal their own world record, set from 2003 to 2008, underlining the world champions' dominance on the Test scene over the last decade.

 

However, reaching landmarks is rarely used to motivate the players.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen says they're driven internally by performance goals, which means the dead rubber nature of this Test shouldn't matter.

 

He says they will want to ensure standards don't drop, two weeks after the 38-27 triumph against South Africa in Johannesburg which secured the Rugby Championship attracted widespread praise.

 

"We've come off a great win and everyone has given us a pat on the back," Hansen said.

"We've got two choices. We can either be like pigs in mud and roll in it and say how good we are, or get back to work and show we can still improve.

"You're never going to be perfect but you're got to strive to be perfect."

 

The All Blacks' home streak stretches back to the 30-27 loss to South Africa in 2009.

Sitting behind New Zealand's two mammoth winning runs, England sits third in the history books with a 22-game home streak, from 1999 to 2003.

The All Blacks are then fourth (16 home wins from 1987-90) and fifth (15 from 1995-98).

 

 

 

BEST HOME WINNING STREAKS IN TEST RUGBY

30 - New Zealand (2003-08)

29 - New Zealand (2009-present)

22 - England (1999-2003)

16 - New Zealand (1987-90)

15 - New Zealand (1995-98)

OTHER NATIONS

13 - Australia (1985-87)

13 - South Africa (1994-96)

13 - Scotland (1989-91)

13 - Wales (1907-12)

11 - France (1975-77)

9 - Ireland (2002-3, 2003-5)


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