Patrick McKendry is a rugby and boxing writer for the Herald.

Patrick McKendry: All Blacks dominance inspiring, not boring

The All Blacks' 15-test winning streak and current dominance, most recently displayed in their 41-13 thrashing of their traditional rivals the Springboks, has been described as boring. Even Fitzy says "it's not good for the game as a whole".

How about describing their constant pursuit of excellence as inspiring?

Was Arsenal's unbeaten season of 2003-04 bad for football or the Premier League?

What about how Eddy Merckx dominated the world of road cycling in the late 1960s and early 70s to the point where he was known as "The Cannibal" for his capacity to devour the opposition?

I reckon the so-called "Invincibles" and Merckx are examples of a team and an individual pushing boundaries and attracting new followers along the way.

For me they are pace-setters and it's up to other nations to lift their games and catch up.

That would be good for the game as a whole. Please, let's not pine for mediocrity.

Here's another way of looking at this All Blacks team, a view that former skipper Sean Fitzpatrick, now living in the United Kingdom and employed as a television commentator, might appreciate too: They are taking their game to a new level thanks to their attention to detail, hunger for improvement, and a desire to include every member of the wider team in their decision making.

Put it this way - would you like your workplace to be like that? A place where you can do your best work every day with the support of your colleagues and the help of managers who are flexible in their thinking and can see the bigger picture? Most of us would because the alternative is a bit depressing.

The All Blacks have that and they are thriving. There is no disconnect between players and management. There is faith and trust, a real willingness to put the team before the individual, and, reading between the lines, skipper Kieran Read and vice-captain Ben Smith have taken that inclusiveness to a new level in the post-Richie McCaw era, great though it was.

There are lessons there for everyone, and not only in the sporting world.

If their dominance was achieved by a turgid, cynical game plan, then that would be a problem, I accept that. But, while they kick the ball more than probably any other top tier international team, they are also playing with ambition and freedom and at a pace that no other team can stay with. At least for the moment. In four tests of the Rugby Championship they have scored an average of 42.3 points per game and six tries per game. They also, statistically speaking, have a better lineout and scrum than Argentina, Australia or South Africa, and defend more effectively too.

Is test rugby at risk because of that? As a whole, no. It's a benchmark for everyone else to follow.

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