2005: Year of the All Black
The All Blacks’ decisive win over Scotland on December 2 made them the first NZ side since 1978 and the first team since Australia in 1984, to complete a “grand slam” of the UK and Irish home sides on a single tour. “The grand slam and what we have done previously has capped a great year, which is delightful,” said coach Graham Henry. “They wanted to set some history in NZ and they have done that, something very special.” As expected, NZ took out all major categories at this year’s International Rugby Board awards. Daniel Carter won player of the year, Graham Henry coach of the year, and the All Blacks team of the year. A 2005 recap: the AB’s won 11 of 12 Tests, crushed the Lions 3-0, won back the Tri-Nations, retained the Bledisloe Cup, and became the second All Blacks side in a century to achieve a grand slam against Wales, Ireland, England and Scotland.