Sometimes all you need to underline a team's supremacy are cold, hard numbers. That is certainly the case for the 2013 All Blacks.
Sometimes all you need to underline a sporting team's supremacy are cold, hard numbers. That's certainly the case for the 2013 All Blacks.
14 – 14 wins from 14 matches. New Zealand choked at the final hurdle trying to achieve this same landmark last year, but not in 2013. No team in the professional era has ever gone a whole year winning every single one of their matches.
454 – Total points scored by the All Blacks during those 14 wins. That's an average of 32.4 per game. South Africa, the number two team in the world, by comparison scored 50 points less, with 73 coming in one game against Argentina.
239 – Total points conceded, at a measly average of 17 per game. New Zealand's clinical ability to finish off numerous chances always gets his praise, but their defence gives up very little.
51 – Tries scored in 2013, at an average of 3.6 per game. That's 15 points guaranteed.
0 – Drop goals scored. Who needs rushed three-pointers when you score so many tries?
7 – Countries conquered. The All Blacks won seven Tests at home in venues from Addington to Wellington, whilst also taking their show on the road with success in Europe and in more unusual locations such as Tokyo and La Plata.
4 – One team was on the losing side of the All Blacks more than any other in 2013 – their fellow 2011 World Cup finalists, France. Four losses, with an average of 25.75 points scored by New Zealand.
2 – New Zealand's narrowest winning margin of course came in their final match – the defeat of Ireland last Sunday coming thanks to Aaron Cruden's conversion.
2 – Only two sides finished within seven points of the All Blacks this year – Ireland, and France on November 9th in Paris.
54 – The highest number of points scored in a single game by the All Blacks, against Japan in Tokyo.
1 – A single apprentice. Destined for big things, young Ardie Savea was not quite on tour to clean boots but to soak up the experience of what it is to be an All Black. With his brother Julian having made some impact already, Ardie should follow in his footsteps.
40 – Steve Hansen picked from a handful of players throughout 2013. Some picked up a single cap against Japan – the likes of Dominic Bird, Jeffrey Toomaga-Allen and Frank Halai – whilst others such as Charles Piutau worked themselves into the side. Overall, the depth available to the All Blacks has been frightening.
By Ben Coles