ONSLAUGHT SPECIAL: All Blacks 2017 Review of the Year

ONSLAUGHT SPECIAL: All Blacks 2017 Review of the Year

Let’s call a spade a spade – it’s been a year to forget for the once mighty All Blacks.

The crack in the armour that was the defeat to Ireland in Chicago at the end of 2016 snowballed into a full-blown decline under the increasingly desperate reign of Steve Hansen.

The Hansen ruled All Blacks have deteriorated to the point where they are rolling the indiscipline dice again and again, relying on the aura of the All Blacks that has seen ref after ref give them an easy ride. Yet referees are starting to stand up to them, and New Zealand have now slipped from first to third place in the world ranking, behind both England and Ireland.

And what’s more both teams are now opening up that gap.

June:

The veil started to fall when the Lions tore apart the Crusaders, effectively a proxy All Blacks side, sending panic through NZ in June. Shortly afterwards a sweaty and bloated Hansen could only watch on as the Lions belittled his side in the second Test.

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In the Third Test it was proven that the Lions should have been awarded a penalty as Kieran Read was clearly offside before Romain Poite correctly adjudicated that an accidental offside on behalf of the Lions. The Lions would have easily kicked a penalty and would have gone on to win the match and the series had the Read offside been called. Lucky All Blacks.

September:

The thuggishness of the All Blacks reached new heights during the Rugby Championship, as proven by this brilliant piece of analysis first featured on Rugby Onslaught.

October:

The rot continued as the Wallabies absolutely pumped the dignity out of a weakening All Blacks. Kicked ’em out of their ****ing trainers so they did.

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November:

Read further poisoned the well when he cheated horribly to deny Scotland a historic first win over New Zealand. It’s up there with the worst acts of foul play ever witnessed on a rugby pitch.

Later that month Alun Wyn Jones heaped more misery on the Kiwis, spanking All Black hero Sonny Bill Williams on the backside, making him look like a right little weakling.

It rounded off a dreadful year for the All Blacks. What does 2018 hold? Let’s hope a more fruitful one for the All Blacks. A team that boasted the likes of McCaw, Carter, Lomu and Cullen deserve better.