While there was no team that was consistent right across the year, the All Blacks proved to be the best of the bunch, and their World Cup win confirms their title of Team of the Year.
Expectations were high heading into 2011 coming off one of the most dominant seasons in international rugby history in 2010, proving near unbeatable, with the only slipup coming in the two-point last minute loss to the Wallabies in Hong Kong.
And all started well for the All Blacks. After an initial rusty performance against Fiji, they delivered a very good performance against the Springboks, albeit a second-string Springbok team, and a reasonably dominant performance over the Wallabies at Eden Park.
They would short in the Republic, losing 18-5 in a game where they couldn't finish despite creating most of the play, then lost again in Australia in a game where the Wallabies held dominance for three quarters of the game and deserved their win.
Still, expectations remained high for the World Cup, knowing that key players were still to return to the team.
They cruised through their pool, never looking like losing, playing the best rugby of all the teams at the tournament. Their dominance was shown by the fact that their closest game came against the eventual runners-up, France, a game they won by 20 points.
Their quarterfinal against Argentina saw them play a tighter game that saw them gain dominance up front that the Pumas couldn't contend with. Many felt that this was an average performance, but realistically, the All Blacks never really looked like losing this game.
They moved on to play the Wallabies in the semifinals, and finally we saw what this All Black team could really do. Despite the fact that they only scored one try, it was a completely dominant performance. Not since 1996 against Australia in Wellington has an All Black team been so dominant over such opposition.
It seemed that no matter how close they got, the Wallabies just couldn't crack the All Blacks line, and that was the key. They won 20-6 and a final berth at last.
The final was a close hard fought game, but the All Blacks held strong and went on to win by just one point in what was one of the most gutsy performances in World Cup history.
A good year for the All Blacks, and despite two losses, still hold the best record during 2011, add a World Cup win to that, and it's hard to deny them the Team of the Year award.