New Zealand
How the All Blacks have ruled Test rugby
ESPN Staff
July 23, 2015
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The All Blacks this week hit 10 years at the top of the World Rugby Test rankings, a true testament to their dominance of the game in recent times.

The defending world champions have not held the No.1 spot continuously for a decade, but have eclipsed the 10-year mark in occupation of that spot. The current rankings system began back in September of 2003 when, interestingly, the All Blacks were ranked behind England ahead of the Rugby World Cup.

Almost 12 years have passed since then, with the All Blacks maintaining a stranglehold on top spot but for a couple of short dips; the last of which came in July 2009 when they were bumped from their perch by South Africa. The Springboks' reign would last little more than three months though as the All Blacks returned to top spot on November 16 2009.

Under the leadership of Sir Graham Henry and Steve Hansen, the All Blacks have dropped just seven Tests since they were dethroned by South Africa in July of 2009; five of which have come against the Springboks who they are preparing to battle once more in Johannesburg this weekend.

With the help of Opta Sports, we've taken a look back over the last six years to highlight the All Blacks' global dominance and picked a few key numbers from their rare defeats at the hands of the South Africans.

  • Since (and including) 25th July 2009, the All Blacks have won 70 of 80 Tests; an 88% win rate. South Africa have won 45 of 70 (64%), the second most wins in the same time period in World Rugby.

  • Since 25th July 2009, the All Blacks have scored 297 tries; just under 90 tries more than their nearest tier one rival (Argentina - 208).

  • The All Blacks have hit a half-century of points in 10 games since 25th July 2009, twice as many as the Boks.

  • In the last seven years, the All Blacks have handed 45 caps to Dan Carter at fly-half, 32 to Aaron Cruden and 20 to Beauden Barrett. Only Morne Steyn (54) has made it to 20+ caps for South Africa at No.10.
    Dan Carter looks to be back to his best in what is his final year of Test rugby © Getty Images

  • Since 25th July 2009, New Zealand are the only tier one nation to maintain a scrum success rate above 90% (91%). Their lineout success rate of 87% is the third best behind South Africa and England (both 88%).

  • New Zealand have averaged 9.8 clean breaks per game in the last seven years, comfortably more than Australia (6.4) and England (6.1) who rank second and third, respectively, amongst tier one nations in this category.

  • New Zealand have made more metres per carry (4.4) than any other side in the last seven years. England (4.1) are the only other nation of the 10 that compete in the Rugby Championship or Six Nations to average more than four metres per carry.
    Richie McCaw continues to carry the ball powerfully for the All Blacks © Getty Images

  • In their five victories over the All Blacks since 2009, the Springboks gained the fewest metres in each match. They gained 1550, compared to 2817 by the All Blacks.

  • South Africa kicked an average of 29.4 times compared with the All Blacks' 23, suggesting Heyneke Meyer's side could see some rewards from an aerial assault.

  • The Springboks maintained an equal or better scrum success rate than the All Blacks in each of their five victories.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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