The All Blacks, not just the greatest rugby union team year after year, but the greatest sporting team to constantly deliver. Indian cricket might have something to say about that, even Danish football have a decent shout for that title back in ’92.
But, as a whole, it can not be argued that the rugby side has rarely failed to deliver. The All Blacks balance of defence with offence makes them a regular at top level; there are zero weaknesses. From the Haka, to the 80th-minute, it is utter professionalism in its finest form; both as men conducting themselves on the pitch, and athletes playing for their country.
Much has been made of the touring British and Irish Lions this summer to New Zealand, being the ‘greatest Lions team’, the toughest selection for the Warren Gatland and his committee to choose from. However, as ‘good’ as the Northern Hemisphere players are, there is still very few who would get into the New Zealand side:
Who are these Dolphins?
5th: Team Dignitas
Team Dignitas may be the biggest wildcard of the upcoming split, a team loaded with potential and talent who had a very tumultuous first split. The addition of subs Shrimp and Big should provide flexibility to a roster that has continued to synergize as the season progressed. If LOD is able to keep up with the other ADCs in NA, Dignitas will be a team to watch out for.
Jimmy Graham preparing to catch a dart from Russell Wilson. (Source: Twitter)
Lynch seemed to always know how to make his teammates forget his problems with a few jokes. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Photo Source: Twitter
Photo Source: Twitter
Joakim Noah fields questions from reporters. (Source: Twitter)
7th: Team EnVyUs
Team NV could be a dark horse in NA moving forward, with a star jungler and consistent bot lane play that has led to significant improvement from their last place finish in the Spring Split. WIth both Pirean and Nisqy showing they can hold their own in the mid lane, NV should finish the season as a contender for a playoff spot.
Following their third place finish in the Spring Split, do not expect much drop off from Phoenix1 in the upcoming split. NA MVP Arrow should excel in a meta that emphasizes ADCs, and both Ryu and Zig have proven to be more than competent solo laners. The only unknown for Phoenix1 seems to be new support Shady, who was given the starting position despite his poor performances near the end of the last split.
SEE ALSO: From the shocked, to the hard done by: the Lions round-up
There we have it. As good as the Lions may seem, at a push, only five – a maximum of six – would get into the All Blacks side. The Kiwis are simply too good.
The front row seems to favour the Northern Hemisphere, and perhaps an area which Warren Gatland will look to maximise. Both set pieces, especially the scrums could therefore be a game changer this June and July.
However, with such an All Black dominance in this side, coupled with their fluidity and togetherness, we can’t see past the best team in the world being toppled by the Northern Hemisphere players. The All Blacks to clinch the series 2-1 this summer.