World records in Rome: The three marks the All Blacks broke in ugly win over Italy


ANALYSIS: Smothered with all kinds of irony, the All Blacks’ ugliest performance of the season was the one where they conquered a trio of world-record points-scoring feats.

A mountain of handling errors, combined with whistle-happy English referee Karl Dickson, made Sunday’s (NZ time) 47-9 win over Italy in Rome a largely tedious watch for New Zealand fans.

It painted a great paradox that this was then the game where New Zealand broke new ground in test rugby history for points, tries and conversions scored in a calendar year.

All Blacks halfback Finlay Christie, left, and Sam Whitelock, centre, congratulate Sevu Reece after he scored against Italy in Rome on Sunday (NZT).

Matteo Ciambelli/Photosport

All Blacks halfback Finlay Christie, left, and Sam Whitelock, centre, congratulate Sevu Reece after he scored against Italy in Rome on Sunday (NZT).

Then again, it perhaps also perfectly illustrates why they have indeed been able to create new marks.

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Well below par in the accuracy stakes, and not opening their account till the 28th minute, the men in black were still good enough to rack up seven tries, and almost an eighth half century (including two tons) for the year, in what was their 13th outing.

This 15-test season – which featured at least one more test than their regular annual programme – indeed presented as a golden chance for the All Blacks to give these records a shake.

Outings against hapless Tonga and United States sides, where they notched three figures in each, and a pair of games against Fiji (two half centuries) have obviously helped their cause. But even so, with two matches to play, they have got there with time to spare, and now have the chance to add to their landmarks against Ireland and France over the next fortnight.

Here’s a look at the records:

MOST TEST POINTS IN A CALENDAR YEAR:

675: All Blacks (2021)*

658: South Africa (2007)

644: England (2003)

602: All Blacks (2003)

594: All Blacks (2007)

*Record ongoing

When Asafo Aumua went over for the easiest of maiden test tries – joining a powerful lineout drive, having Ethan de Groot hand the ball to him then run five or so metres untouched in the 69th minute – the All Blacks took their points tally for the year past the Springboks team of 2007.

That World Cup-winning side managed 658, though that was from 17 tests, for an average of 38.71 per game. Similarly, England’s World Cup-winning 2003 side, who sit third on the chart, played 17 tests for 644 points at 37.88

The All Blacks are scoring at a whopping 51.92 per outing this season, in what is the only non-World Cup year among the top-five entries on the list.

MOST TEST TRIES IN A CALENDAR YEAR:

96: All Blacks (2021)*

92: Argentina (2003)

81: All Blacks (2003), South Africa (2007)

80: Japan (2002), All Blacks (2007, 2016)

78: All Blacks (2018)

*Record ongoing

Sevu Reece goes over in the tackle of Matteo Minozzi for the All Blacks’ record-breaking try in Rome.

Alessandra Tarantino/AP

Sevu Reece goes over in the tackle of Matteo Minozzi for the All Blacks’ record-breaking try in Rome.

When Sevu Reece scooted away to nab the visitors’ first try of the second stanza in the 63rd minute, it saw the All Blacks surpass Argentina’s calendar-year try record of 92.

That was set in 2003, when the Pumas failed to make the quarterfinals of the World Cup, but in a 14-test season highlighted by a 144-0 demolition of Paraguay in the South American Rugby Championship in Uruguay when they scored 24 tries, including an absurd nine to winger Jose Maria Nunez Piossek.

The All Blacks are now just four away from reaching the magic hundred-mark. Should they go one better and crack 101 that will make for their best tries-per-test season, too.

Currently they are bagging 7.38 tries an outing this year, and five more five-pointers will ensure they break their record of 6.71, set in 1987 when they scored 47 in seven tests in their World Cup win and a Bledisloe Cup fixture.

MOST TEST CONVERSIONS IN A CALENDAR YEAR:

66: All Blacks (2021)*

62: South Africa (2007)

60: All Blacks (2016)

58: All Blacks (2003, 2007)

57: All Blacks (2018)

*Record ongoing

Richie Mo'unga sent the All Blacks past the calendar-year conversions record.

Matteo Ciambelli/Photosport

Richie Mo’unga sent the All Blacks past the calendar-year conversions record.

When Richie Mo’unga slid his 40th minute shot at goal, from around eight metres in from the right-hand touchline, inside the right-hand upright to add the extras to Dane Coles’ second try, it meant the All Blacks had slotted the most conversions in a test season.

That record was previously held by that 2007 World Cup-winning Springboks side, who chiefly had Percy Montgomery and Frans Steyn in operation off the tee.

Despite the record, the All Blacks’ goalkicking conversion percentage of 68.75 this year is the lowest of the other entries in the top five, with that Boks’ one from 14 years ago the highest, at 77.50.

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Publish date : 2021-11-06 23:46:00

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