The All Blacks go into this weekend’s game against South Africa with The Rugby Championship already secured, however Steve Hansen’s men won’t have far to look for motivation when they kick off in Durban on Saturday.
New Zealand have won their last 16 Test matches and other than the aim of recording a clean sweep in this year’s Rugby Championship they will also be aiming to equal the record for consecutive Test wins by a Tier One Nation. The All Blacks have twice previously won 17 games on the bounce while the Springboks have also recorded a 17 game win streak, from 1997 to 1998.
South Africa will hope to spoil the party though and it wouldn’t be the first time they’ve ruined an All Black record run. The Springboks recorded a 17-6 win against New Zealand in Pretoria in 1970 after the All Blacks had become the first side ever to win 17 games in a row.
The All Blacks have been impressive throughout their current 16 game win streak, averaging 41 points and 5.6 tries per game in that time, better than any other side when they recorded a similar streak. South Africa have come closest to matching that level, scoring 5.2 tries and just under 39 points per game during their record equalling run.
While Australia and Argentina don’t feature in the top five win streaks, both have hit double figures previously. Argentina won 10 games in a row from 1992 to 1993 while the Wallabies have managed the same tally on three occasions, all of which were in the 1990s, a decade in which they claimed two World Cups.
Although The Rugby Championship winner has been settled for 2016 there is still plenty on the line as the competition enters its final round; the All Blacks search for history, South Africa aim to deny them and the Pumas and Wallabies fight for position in the final Rugby Championship standings.