AllBlacks power - the facts don't lie
Sportal.co.nz 12 Aug 2012 Getty Images
All Blacks Supreme by Geoff Miller. Published by Hodder Moa.
Rugby statistics guru Geoff Miller, the co-editor of the rugby bible, the New Zealand Rugby Almanack, has produced a handy little argument buster, All Blacks Supreme.
In short, it is the statistical justification for all All Blacks debate.
Right from the outset the facts start rolling but Miller makes the point that while the All Blacks achieved their 1000th victory at Soweto in 2010, for a winning ratio of 84.2 percent, it would be more than a generation for any other team to match that record.
And just for good measure no living person would see the number of victories by the All Blacks headed. Now there's a comforting thought, especially after all the World Cup angst was relieved last year.
Miller also highlights another, there are plenty, interesting fact when pointing out the lead over rivals has doubled since the advent of professionalism. Before the change in 1996 the All Blacks won at a rate of 71.19 percent. Since then it has been at 81.48!
This is interesting because it was always claimed in the amateur days that the All Blacks were the most 'professional' of the amateur sides in their approach. Now with the incentive to make a career out of rugby the ante has been upped.
Talking about that World Cup win in 2011, Miller notes the All Blacks have won 12 percent more games, scored 35 percent more points and 50 percent more tries than any other team at the Rugby World Cup.
New Zealand rugby may come in for criticism at times but there is no doubt which is the most popular team in the world.
At the start of the 2012 season the All Blacks had played 1206 games, Australia 1134 and France 934.
New Zealand's winning percentage in Test matches is 75.21 percent, South Africa 63.12 percent and France 55.18.
When it comes to the try scoring stakes New Zealand has 1654 tries in Tests. That's an average of 3.42 per Test. France, their nearest rival has 1591 tries at 2.35 per Test.
It should be no surprise that the All Blacks are the only team to have kicked more conversions than penalty goals.
Statistics are not everyone's cup of tea but Miller and his publishers have presented them in an entirely readable format and had broken out New Zealand's record against all opponents while also profiling the most successful All Blacks, from a win percentage participation point of view.
Interestingly, off all the players who have played more than 50 winning Tests, All Blacks players filled the highest 17 positions and the list grew against Ireland with Conrad Smith and Piri Weepu joining the list.
Now that is domination, and Miller has brought the figures alive in compelling fashion.
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