All Blacks v Springboks: Unbeaten in Christchurch in 18 years

By Alex McLeod

In the lead-up to the All Blacks vs Springboks test match at Christchurch's AMI Stadium tomorrow night, much speculation has been made of the lack of threat the Springboks pose against an All Blacks side that has won its last 14 matches on the trot and are currently unbeaten this season.

Not only are this All Blacks side unbeaten this season, but the city they are playing at tomorrow night is a place the All Blacks have remained unbeaten at for 18 years. The last time an All Blacks side lost a test match in Christchurch was in 1998 to the Wallabies in a 27-23 loss, one of five losses the All Blacks accumulated throughout the course of a shortened seven-test season.

Since then, the All Blacks have conjured up 14 consecutive wins in the Garden City.

These include three wins over the Springboks and the Wallabies, two wins over Argentina and France, and a win each over the British and Irish Lions, England, Ireland and Italy.

With the form the All Blacks are currently in, and the winning streaks they are currently sitting on, it comes as no surprise that their 18 year unbeaten run in Christchurch is not the only impressive statistic the All Blacks hold heading into their fourth Rugy Championship encounter of the season.

Here is a list of some of the key facts heading into the second-to-last test match to be played on New Zealand soil for the 2016 season:

• New Zealand have won seven of their last eight games against South Africa, including the last two in a row; though none of the last four games between these nations have been decided by more than the value of a converted try.

• New Zealand have won their last 14 games in Christchurch, last losing there against Australia in 1998.

• South Africa have played eight games in Christchurch in Test history, winning only twice, and their last victory there came over half a century ago (19-16 v New Zealand in September 1965).

• South Africa have won 38% of their games against New Zealand (35/91), the best winning record of any nation against the All Blacks.

• The All Blacks have averaged 41.5 points scored per game in 2016 so far, their highest since averaging 49.5 per game across 12 fixtures in 2007.

• South Africa have scored 31 points in the final quarter of games so far in The Rugby Championship 2016, the most of any team and five more than New Zealand, though the All Blacks have only conceded five points in the same period.

• The All Blacks have scored 18 tries in the competition so far this year, three more than Argentina, Australia and South Africa combined.

• The Springboks have put boot to ball in general play more often than any other team this tournament, averaging 26.7 kicks in general play, six more per game than the All Blacks.

• Sam Whitelock (40/41) has made more tackles than any player in the competition so far this year while Warren Whiteley has made 27/27 tackles, the most of any player who is yet to miss a single attempt.

• Beauden Barrett (99) needs only one more point to become the fifth New Zealand player to score 100 points in The Rugby Championship; Barrett is the top scorer in the competition so far this season (43)

- NZ Herald

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