Poll: Which All Blacks winning streak is the most impressive?

By Alex McLeod

All Blacks captain Kieran Read hold aloft the Bledisloe Cup at Westpac Stadium in Wellington last month. Photo / Photosport
All Blacks captain Kieran Read hold aloft the Bledisloe Cup at Westpac Stadium in Wellington last month. Photo / Photosport

Ever since the 41-13 demolition over the Wallabies at Eden Park last year, the All Blacks have looked unbeatable, and since that night in August unbeaten the All Blacks remain.

Between that test prior to the Rugby World Cup and Saturday night's 57-22 victory over the Pumas in Hamilton, the All Blacks have won 14 test matches on the trot, and are eyeing up the world record for most consecutive wins by a tier one nation in the professional era.

The ownership of that record currently belongs to the South African sides of 1997/98 who notched up 17 straight wins, and should games play out accordingly for the All Blacks in their upcoming four matches, they will become the new titleholders with a win over the Wallabies at Eden Park in the third Bledisloe encounter in just under six weeks time.

With this notoriously difficult record to secure is yet to be achieved by the reigning world champions, it raises the question of what is the All Blacks' most impressive winning streak they currently hold?

Three streaks in particular stand out when addressing this question.

The first is the All Blacks' 43-match unbeaten run in New Zealand, a streak dating back to their 2009 defeat at the hands of this week's opponents at the ground the played at last Saturday.

In fact, it is seven years to the day South Africa defeated the All Blacks at FMG Stadium Waikato 32-29, the last time the All Blacks have lost in front of a home crowd.

That win for the Springboks completed a 3-0 whitewash over the All Blacks that season, with two earlier victories in the Republic helping the South Africans take the Tri Nations title off of the All Blacks.

Since then, the New Zealanders have beaten the South Africans six times on home soil, while also defeating the Wallabies nine times, Argentina six times, France and Wales five times, Ireland four times, England three times, and Canada, Fiji, Japan and Tonga all one time each en route to securing an astonishing 43-test winning run in New Zealand.

The second streak in question is their 36-match unbeaten record at their fortress of Eden Park, a venue they have not been defeated at in 22 years.

The last team to have defeated the All Blacks at the largest stadium in the country was the French side of 1994, who scored back-to-back wins on their tour of New Zealand in the winter of that year.

A 22-8 win on Jonah Lomu's debut at Lancaster Park in Christchurch was followed up by a 23-20 victory at Eden Park a week later.

Little did the French players who took to the field that day know that they would be the last players to conquer the All Blacks on that ground.

Since then, a plethora of Tri Nations, Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup victories have been sealed within the confines of the 50,000-capacity stadium, in addition to a historic Rugby World Cup victory secured there in 2011, in a final where - ironically - the match was won against the last side to have defeated the All Blacks at the venue.

The last streak the All Blacks claim ownership of that stands out as one of the more impressive in recent times is the streak that highlights their Bledisloe Cup dominance.

Since re-claiming the historic trophy at Eden Park in 2003, the All Blacks are yet to hand back the cup to their trans-Tasman counterparts, with the Kiwis in the midst of a 13-year period of dominance, and based on the recent performances of the Wallabies' class of 2016, it looks unlikely that dominance is going to end any time soon.

Of the 36 Bledisloe Cup clashes between New Zealand and Australia since 2003, the All Blacks have won 28 of those battles.

Of the eight remaining fixtures that the All Blacks have not won, two have been draws, meaning that the Wallabies have won just six Bledisloe Cup matches in 36 outings since the recapture of New Zealand's most prized sporting possessions in 2003.

All three streaks the All Blacks currently hold are beyond impressive, just like the world record for consecutive wins should the boys in black secure it in just under six weeks time.

- NZ Herald

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