If the All Blacks are able to defeat Wales this weekend..read more

If the All Blacks are able to defeat Wales this weekend, they will end the year not only with their fourth Grand Slam, but toast the seventh consecutive European tour sweep since Graham Henry became coach.

In 22 tests in Europe, the All Blacks record since 2004 is a perfect 22 wins.

Only once have the All Blacks lost in the Northern Hemisphere in seven years, to France during the 2007 Rugby World Cup quarterfinal, and the French remain the only team north of the equator to have beaten New Zealand in the last seven years.

Against the North, the Graham Henry’s record is 44 wins from 46 tests.

Only Wales, who have not beaten the All Blacks since 1953, sitting on the longest losing streak between two nations who have beaten each other (23 tests), can halt what would be the third Slam for Henry.

The All Blacks coach said his team knows the importance of the tour and the potential achievement.

“The boys are aware of what is at stake.

“We talked about the grand slam before the Irish game and about how we wouldn’t have a chance of achieving that unless we did the business.

“So it has been discussed. The 2005 and 2008 sides achieved the grand slam and a number of the players were in those sides.

“But there are also a number who have never achieved it and so for them it is an incentive.

Henry acknowledged the fact that history has proven a touring Home Nations Grand Slam is immensely difficult to achieve, with the Springboks loss to Scotland their fourth consecutive failed attempt.

“There have only been eight successful grand slam sides from New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, so it’s not something that happens every time.

“South Africa haven’t done it since 1961 and Australia got their one in 1984.

“We’ve done it three times and we want to add to that legacy.”

Henry said that he had discussed with his players how quickly things can change, using Scotland as a prime example. The Thistles had lost to the All Blacks with what was their second worst ever defeat, and then came back to stun the World Cup holders.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: