Just how good are the All Blacks are in the final 20

By Cameron McMillan

Cardiff, 2014. Wales are up 16-15 against the All Blacks in the final quarter of the match and are just 11 minutes away from their first win over New Zealand since 1953. They lose the test 34-16. Sound familiar?

Getting run over by the All Blacks in the final stages of a test isn't just a Welsh thing. It's something all opponents face and statistics prove they often fail even getting on the board, let alone stop the All Blacks from scoring.

Going back to the start of the 2013 test season, just eight teams in 41 tests have outscored the All Blacks in the final 20 minutes. Only three of those teams avoided defeat.

The All Blacks are equally impressive on attack and defence once the benches start to empty, with 18 teams (43 per cent of opponents) having been kept scoreless in the final quarter since the first home test against France in 2013.

In that same timeframe, the All Blacks have failed to score just twice (5 per cent of tests).

All Blacks in the final 20 - Since 2013 (41 tests)

The Welsh shouldn't feel too bad following Saturday's performance.

In 2013, Ireland were leading the All Blacks 22-10 after 60 minutes in Dublin, only for Ben Franks and Ryan Crotty to score before Aaron Cruden, on his second attempt, completed the 24-22 comeback with a sideline conversion.

It's not just leading teams who have been completely outdone. How about France at the World Cup? Trailing 41-13 at the 60-minute mark was embarrassing enough. The All Blacks then scored three more converted tries to crack 60.

The only team to outdo the All Blacks in the final 20 since 2013 is the Wallabies in Sydney last year. The All Blacks led 14-10 before Adam Ashley-Cooper scored on the hour to put Australia up. A Nehe Milner-Skudder try gave the All Blacks a 19-17 lead and it looked like another solid last quarter for New Zealand before Nic White scored 10 points in the final 12 minutes.

It was revenge for the Wallabies after the All Blacks came back from trailing 25-15 at the 60-minute mark a year earlier in Brisbane before Aaron Smith and Malakai Fekitoa scored tries and Colin Slade kicked the winning conversion.

The average scoreline for the All Blacks over the 41 tests since the start of 2013 (38 wins, two defeats and a draw) is 33-17. It's around 10-4 to the All Blacks in the final 20 minutes, when they score 30 per cent of their points.

The most impressive run for the All Blacks in the final quarter of games came at last year's successful World Cup defence. The All Blacks let in just one try during the final quarter across the entire tournament, which came against Australia in the final - and it was in the 64th minute. While at the other end of the field they scored 13 tries as they outscored opponents 93-15.

Yes, rugby is an 80-minute game. But the last 20 minutes of each game at the World Cup proved how dominant the All Blacks are.

- NZ Herald

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