All Blacks: Team of the Decade

2009-12-24 09:09
All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw (File)
Cape Town - South Africa are the reigning World Cup and the Tri-Nations champions, and they were voted the 2009 IRB Team of the Year, but there can be little doubt New Zealand were the Team of the Decade - despite missing out on two World Cups won by England (2003) and South Africa (2007).

In fact, the Boks are ranked only fifth in terms of their winning percentage during this time period, despite having the next best number of wins after New Zealand.

The Springboks' low winning percentage stems from the lean years between 2000 and 2003, when they won just 23 and drew one of their 46 Tests.

And in 2006, when Jake White forfeited wins in order not to expose his top players before the World Cup, South Africa won five Tests only and lost a massive seven.

During the past decade, the All Blacks won have 24 more games than the Springboks. The Boks played the most Tests (125); winning 76 for a 60.8 percent win ratio. New Zealand played 122 Tests and won exactly 100 for an 82 percent win ratio.

(That equates to 10 Tests won per year from an average total of 12,2 Tests played in each of the 10 years. The Boks on average won 7.6 percent of their 12.5 Tests every year.)

The All Blacks underlined their supremacy over the period by also scoring 133 more tries than the next best attacking side, Australia.

New Zealand scored 526 tries (4.31 per Test) compared to the 393 of Australia (3.20 per Test) and South Africa's 384 (3.1 per Test). Argentina, with only 85 Tests played, averaged 3,7 tries per Test.

The All Blacks beat the Springboks in 16 of the 24 Tests played during the decade. Four of those eight Bok wins have come under new coach Peter de Villiers; three of them this year.

It is interesting to note De Villiers has the second best winning ration of any Bok coach after Nick Mallett (1997-2000). During the decade, New Zealand averaged Test scores of 36-16 with the Boks on 28-21.

Yes, the All Blacks were the best and most consistent over the decade - and they won two-thirds of their matches against the Boks.

But they still don't have the World Cup, and interestingly Ireland, second on winning percentages, also have an inferior competition record to France, who are only fourth on the list.

Stats during the period 2000 - 2009:

World Cup winners: England (2003). South Africa (2007)

Tri-Nations winners: New Zealand 6, South Africa 2, Australia 2

Six Nations winners: France 4, England 3, Wales 2, Ireland 1

Most Tests (players):
110: George Smith (Australia)
99: John Hayes (Ireland/Lions)
97: Chris Paterson (Scotland)
95: Brian O'Driscoll (Ireland/Lions), Ronan O'Gara (Ireland/Lions)
93: John Smit (South Africa)
92: Victor Matfield (South Africa)
82: Mils Muliaina (New Zealand

Most wins:
70: Richie McCaw (New Zealand)
68: Mils Muliaina (New Zealand)
65: George Smith (Australia)
63: John Hayes (Ireland)
Most points:
994: Daniel Carter (New Zealand)
954: Jonny Wilkinson (England/Lions)
929: Ronan O'Gara (Ireland/Lions)
784: Stephen Jones (Wales/Lions)
741: Chris Paterson (Scotland/)
703: Percy Montgomery (South Africa)

Most tries:
50: Shane Williams (Wales/Lions)
49: Doug Howlett (New Zealand)
45: Joe Rokocoko (New Zealand)
38: Chris Latham (Australia), Brian O'Driscoll (Ireland/Lions)


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