Andy Burt is a Wellington-based writer for allblacks.com and co-host of the All Blacks Podcast. He covers all levels of the domestic game in New Zealand and monitors the international game closely.Read more exclusive columns
The top 10 moments of 2017
Andy Burt 12 Jan 2018 Getty Images
There’s nothing like finals footy and that saying rang true in the Mitre 10 Cup Championship final between Wellington and Bay of Plenty. With the scores locked at 40-40 after a thrilling 80 minutes, another four tries were added in extra time as Wellington edged Bay of Plenty 59-45 to win their first final since 2000.
The All Blacks saved their best performance of the year for old foes South Africa with a 57-0 thumping at Albany. The Springboks had no answer as the All Blacks ran in eight and didn’t concede a single point in racking up their biggest ever win over South Africa.
The Black Ferns turned heads across the world with a triumphant Women’s Rugby World Cup campaign in Ireland. The Glenn Moore-coached side racked up over 40 points in every game played and were too strong for England in the final, winning 41-32 to lift their fifth Rugby World Cup title.
Led by inspirational captain Sam Whitelock, the Crusaders broke a nine-year Investec Super Rugby drought by beating the Lions 25-17 in the final to claim their eighth title.
The Maori All Blacks haka is one of the most impressive sights in world sport and in 2017 it was performed in front of the biggest crowd ever seen for rugby in Canada. A crowd of 30,000 packed into BC Place Stadium in Canada to watch the Maori All Blacks surge to a 51-9 win over the home-side.
Relive the moment the Maori All Blacks laid down the challenge against Canada with Te Timatanga HAKA!#CANvMAB pic.twitter.com/4mdKRNylZW— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) November 4, 2017Sevens heaven for the Black Ferns Sevens
After scooping the silver medal at the Rio Olympics in 2016, the Black Ferns Sevens were even more impressive in 2017. The Alan Bunting-coached side won five of the six tournaments on the Women’s Sevens World Series circuit to lift the overall crown.
The All Blacks Sevens set the Sevens World Series alight late in 2017 with a stunning win at the Cape Town Sevens. After overcoming England in the quarterfinal, the Clark Laidlaw-coached side stunned favourites South Africa 19-12 in the semifinal before thumping Argentina 38-14 to lift their first title in 2017 and go top of the World Series standings.
In one of the underdog stories of the season, Canterbury defeated favourites Counties Manukau 13-7 in the Farah Palmer Cup final to lift their first title since the Women’s Provincial Championship was introduced in 1999.
After scraping into the Meads Cup playoffs on points differential, Wanganui travelled south to take on Horowhenua Kapiti who were hosting a final for the first time in their 124 year history. It was to be Wanganui who made further history though by defeating Horowhenua Kapiti 30-14 and becoming the first team to win three-straight Meads Cup titles.
After scoring two tries in the 2016 Mitre 10 Cup Premiership final, Canterbury pivot Richie Mo’unga was even more influential in 2017 with a record 25-point haul to lead Canterbury to their ninth Premiership title in 10 seasons.