Rugby Union

New Zealand aim to carry on unbeaten run

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The Rugby Championship kicks-off on Saturday and with much anticipation leading up to the start of the Aviva Premiership season, New Zealand are looking to steal the limelight by breaking an incredible unbeaten record.

According to OneNews, New Zealand are one victory away from making it 18 straight international test match victories; their last defeat coming against England at Twickenham in 2012.

The only team standing in their way now is Australia, as the Wallabies will be their first fixture of the Tri-Nations and will be looking to settle a score with the All Blacks on the opening day.

But can the Wallabies push into another gear on August 16 and defeat New Zealand in a competition the All Blacks have won twice in a row?

Tri Nations

Last season's Rugby Championship was one to admire as Steve Hansen's men remained unbeaten, winning all six games, cruising to a nine-point lead and finishing top of the pool.

Their first match was against the Aussies and the All Blacks hammered the 2003 finalists 47-29 in Sydney, with Ben Smith scoring three tries.

This was followed by another commanding win in Wellington as Ewen McKenzie's men couldn't handle to brute strength of their Oceanic cousins and lost 27-16.

South Africa, meanwhile, are a side with a chance of defeating the All Blacks. They can be indestructible; delivering fierce power and pace that many international teams cannot deal with.

But last year the Springboks were also on the receiving end of the All Blacks' rath, losing 29-15 in Auckland and 38-27 in Johannesburg.


The real outsiders are Argentina, a team who make up the numbers and rarely cause any shocks. But with their underdog appearance comes a tenacity similar to Italy's, a passion to force a result out of a difficult game.

Last year, Daniel Hourcade's men finished bottom of the pool having lost all six matches and on the opening day suffered a massive 73-13 defeat to the Springboks.

All Blacks

The All Blacks will remain optimistic as fans have to remember that New Zealand are a series win away from achieving three straight Rugby Championship titles. With the form Hansen's men are currently displaying, such a feat is looking inevitable.

But if Australia can earn a historic win on Saturday it could turn the tide for the rest of the competition, making it an open and thrilling contest.

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