In the most thrilling and dramatic fashion, New Zealand completed their 14<sup>th consecutive test win of 2013 and soared into the record books after defeating Ireland in an epic contest in Dublin
Ryan Crotty's late try, and Aaron Cruden's subsequent conversion means the All Blacks will finish 2013 having become the first side in the professional era to win all their test matches in a calendar year.
Although the manner of wins over England, and particularly Ireland, who stormed into a 19-0 lead in the first half, might suggest otherwise, New Zealand enter the pantheon of sporting greats with their unique feat.
But which teams join the list of sports immortal greats? IBTimes UK takes a look at those which history never forgets.
New Zealand 2013
Steve Hansen's side defeated all-comers in 2013. Australia, Argentina and South Africa were ousted in the Rugby Championship, France four times including in a three-match series in June, and then Japan, England and Ireland in the autumn. Playing a brand of brutal, expansive rugby the All Blacks were more ruthless than thrilling but they did their world champions status no harm less than 24 months our from defending their title.
Miami Dolphins 1972 season
The Dolphins are the only team in National Football League history to win the Super Bowl with a perfect season, beating the Washington Redskins. A regular season which fans in Miami were unable to watch on television saw 14 consecutive wins record, the most emphatic coming against the New England Patriots. Come the playoffs, Miami overcame the Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers before they won the first nation-wide televised Super Bowl in Los Angeles.
AC Milan 1988/89
Arrigio Sacchi's glittering Milan squad of the late 80s was among the most star-studded in European football history. Marco van Basten, Frank Rijkaard, Ruud Gullit, Carlo Ancelotti, Paolo Maldini and Franco Baresi were among the stars names in a side which followed their Serie A title, with the European Cup in 1989 with an unbeaten run to the final, which included wins over Red Star Belgrade and Real Madrid before a 4-0 win over Steaua Bucharest.
Australia cricket team 1993-2003
Of all the periods of Australian cricketing dominance, the era under the leadership of Allan Border and then primarily Mark Taylor, Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting, is the most fondly remembered. In a 10-year spell, Australia were unbeaten in 29 of the 34 test match series they competed in, and twice won the Cricket World Cup in 1999 and 2003. The era also saw the legends of Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Adam Gilchrist and Mark Waugh etched into history and with 16 consecutive test wins from 1999-2001, history rewritten.
United States Men's Olympic basketball team 1936-2012
On the 17 occasions the United States have taken a team to the Olympic Games; no fewer than 14 have ended with America winning the gold medal in the men's competition. After being forced to field amateur players until 1989 prior to a FIBA rule change, the USA were only twice knocked off the top of the podium. Their potential to dominate was cemented when NBA players were permitted to compete, with the first Games in which they were eligible in 1992 in Barcelona playing host to Michael Jordan. Shaquille O'Neal, LeBron James and Kevin Durant have since played in a victorious American team who are among the most dominant in Olympic history.