Rugby: No resting on laurels for All Blacks despite stellar 2016

(From left) The New Zealand All Blacks' Ofa Tu'ungafasi, Joe Moody and Wyatt Crockett at the launch of WHY AIG in Singapore on Nov 28, 2016.
(From left) The New Zealand All Blacks' Ofa Tu'ungafasi, Joe Moody and Wyatt Crockett at the launch of WHY AIG in Singapore on Nov 28, 2016. PHOTO: DIOS VINCOY JR FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

SINGAPORE - The New Zealand All Blacks may be the top-ranked rugby team in the world, but they have no intentions of resting on their laurels as they are fully aware of the threats their rivals pose to them.

The No. 1 side are coming off a stellar season after winning 13 out of 14 matches this year and claiming a world record of 18 straight test match victories.

Their only loss this year was to Ireland during the first game of the All Blacks Northern Tour earlier this month.

All Blacks prop Wyatt Crockett told The Straits Times at the Four Seasons Hotel on Monday (Nov 28): "There's a number of teams that are right up at the top end - look at the way Ireland have been playing over the last few months, and Australia and the English have been playing some good rugby as well.

"At any day, just like when we lost to Ireland in Chicago, any one of those teams can trip each other up, so it's certainly very competitive."

Team-mate Ofa Tu'ungafasi, who made his international debut earlier this year, agreed.

"It's going good for us, knowing that there are other teams that are competitive and are doing really well," he added. "This drives us to be better in making sure that we do what we need to do to stay ahead."

The duo, together with prop Joe Moody, are in town for the launch of WHY AIG, a new movement that highlights the insurance company's role as a business partner and its commitment to delivering value to customers.