Words fail to describe the love and high regard people have for the All Blacks.
Not just New Zealanders, but people across the globe could not stop praising the greatness of this All Blacks unit. This team has it all – their stats tell a story of how almost everything involving them is a record.
The prestigious Web Ellis Cup has now been won by New Zealand three times, a first in history. The All Blacks have also claimed the Bledisloe Cup 42 times to Australia’s 12.
They have claimed the Tri-Nations ten times, compared to three apiece by the others.
With the introduction of Argentina in the mix, and thus the launch of the Rugby Championship Trophy, the All Blacks have claimed three of the four tournaments.
They hold a 9-2 record against South Africa for the Freedom Cup, a 10-1 record against France for the Dave Gallaher Trophy and a 6-1 record against England for the Hillary Shield.
Since the launch 14 years ago, New Zealand has been declared ‘The Rugby Team of the Year’ nine times. The achievements that the All Blacks carry are truly remarkable.
New Zealand Rugby embarked on a radical plan of transformation in 2004 putting an instant end to the culture of binge drinking, insular lifestyles and lack of professionalism. Since then, the All Blacks have been super dominant. Players focused on length of stay with the team.
This team’s dominance has a lot to do with leadership.
With the brilliant coaching by Sir Graham Henry and Steve Hansen, the captaincy of Richie McCaw has been truly admirable. He is the first at training and the last to leave. He has been involved in 131 victories of the 148 he has played. In a remarkable comparison to his leadership abilities, the All Blacks have lost 49% of the games where McCaw has not played.
At the recent World Rugby Awards, Dan Carter joined the elite club with Richie McCaw in claiming his third ‘World Player of the Year’ Award.
This is nothing but pure dedication to the sport.
As McCaw summarised prior to the finals “We don’t believe in magic, we believe in hard work.”