New Zealand Rugby boss Steve Tew has summarised the code's year as a mixed bag, with some exceptional on-field performances tempered by a number of high profile off-field incidents.
Tew highlighted the No1 world ranking of both the All Blacks and Black Ferns, but balanced his praise with some work-ons for 2017 in response to the series of scandals that have enveloped the game.
"The All Blacks broke a world record for successive games won, and our woman are unbeaten in eight tests in a row," said Tew. "The All Blacks, once again, hold every piece of silverware that we compete for - and every other country would probably trumpet louder than we do - so from that point of view it's great. Also, the Hurricanes got across the line in Super Rugby and we should acknowledge the achievement of our women's sevens team in Rio to get silver.
"For the men, we clearly weren't good enough and had a poor result. We have work to do. And then we've had some things that have challenged the game."
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New Zealand Rugby was criticised for its response to the Chiefs' stripper scandal after the Super Rugby season finished, and its response to the case of Losi Filipo, a player charged by police with assault. Then the Aaron Smith controversy, in which he followed a woman into the disabled toilet at Christchurch airport, added to the pressure on the union.
"Despite those high profile issues, we've still got more players registered than we've ever had, and the game is in good shape. But there's no doubt that the focus we have on our game means that anything that's good or bad about society ends up being attracted to rugby and reflected in it, and we've got work to do.
"That's why we've got a very good group of people together to have a good look at what we are doing and try to give us some advice."
Tew said the wait for the All Blacks to play England is due to the international programs determined over a five year cycle.
"It wasn't that long ago that we played England four times in 12 months and everyone said we played them too many times," said Tew. "So you've got to take a little bit of a deep breath and remember that 12 months ago they got knocked out of the World Cup before making the playoffs, and no one was saying we needed to play England at that stage.
"You've got to deal with the immediacy of form, in the context of a program that's determined five years out. And if that means we have to wait another 12 months to see who the best team is between the All Blacks and England, so be it. They might bump their ticket prices up even more, which will be good for us because we get .... oh no that's right, zero percent."