Rugby: All Blacks aiming for perfect year

World champions New Zealand are one step away from the perfect year.

 New Zealand All Blacks

Here, Press Association Sport's Nick Purewal reviews the All Blacks' 13 victories in 2013.

New Zealand 23 France 13 (Auckland, June 8): Despite tries from scrum-half Aaron Smith and flanker Sam Cane, it was New Zealand's gritty defence that sealed their first win of the season.

New Zealand 30 France 0 (Auckland, June 15): Steve Hansen's men hit their stride with three unanswered tries, brushing aside Philippe Saint-Andre's stunned France team.

New Zealand 24 France 9 (New Plymouth, June 22): Ben Smith and Beauden Barrett notched the scores that completed the Kiwis' clean-sweep series victory.

Australia 29 New Zealand 47 (Sydney, August 17): Irresistible New Zealand hit the Wallabies with six tries, and in their own back yard to boot.

New Zealand 27 Australia 16 (Wellington, August 24): Debutant Tom Taylor's four-penalty haul guided New Zealand to retaining the Bledisloe Cup.

New Zealand 28 Argentina 13 (Hamilton, September 7): Back-rower Kieran Read conjured two try assists in an indomitable performance to break a stern Argentine resistance.

New Zealand 29 South Africa 15 (Auckland, September 14): A bonus-point victory over the potent Springboks sent a global warning the All Blacks were in no mood to ease their world domination.

Argentina 15 New Zealand 33 (La Plata, September 29): Four unanswered tries in Argentina underpinned a balanced All Blacks performance, as stingy in defence as they were brutal in attack.

South Africa 27 New Zealand 38 (Johannesburg, October 6): The world watched in awe as the globe's two dominant forces traded stunning try for stunning try. Bryan Habana's peerless early brace had the hosts in charge, but the lightning wing then limped out with a torn hamstring. Somehow New Zealand edged home five tries to four in a true all-time classic.

New Zealand 41 Australia 33 (Dunedin, October 19): Stubborn New Zealand equalled their startling record of 30-straight home victories. Not a bad milestone to notch before heading off on the Northern Hemisphere tour.

New Zealand 54 Japan 6 (Tokyo, November 2): Eight tries with no reply summed up the gulf in class between emerging nation Japan, and the unruffled All Black titans.

New Zealand 26 France 19 (Paris, November 10): Despite boasting a world-record 853 caps, the All Blacks so nearly conceded their 100 per cent record. Charles Piutau's sublime defence-drawing flick-pass sent Kieran Read home for the match-saving try.

England 22 New Zealand 30 (London, November 17): Just when England thought they could repeat the heroics of their 38-18 triumph over the All Blacks of last autumn, up popped Ma'a Nonu. The wrecking-ball centre's defence-shredding offload sent Julian Savea home to seal win number 13.



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