Many All Black supporters would've been made to feel very uncomfortable this week as they came into this week rather bruised. This was after they finished the Rugby Championship in the bottom half, the first time since 2003. They also finished the tournament with a negative points difference. However, as we all know there is no team that bites back harder than a bruised New Zealand outfit. And they clinical 36 - 0 performance at Eden Park this evening was just proof of that.
We look at the top performing New Zealand players this evening:
Simply a wonder to watch, a player with real x-factor and the reason for Waisake Naholo's absence. The 22 year old Fijian born was just in fine form tonight. He ended the game with a 100% tackle success rate, four defenders beaten and as many clean breaks and capped that off with some brilliant footwork to score a sublime try. In the process of scoring and beating all the defenders he gained 58 running metres and did well to stake a claim for the No.14 jersey.
With the decision of playing the Canterbury Crusaders pivot in his starting line up with such little experience, some would have felt a bit tense with Steven Hansen's experiment. Nevertheless, the Riccarton schooled has come of age and has made sure that he relieves many of their worries. In the end it was his try on the half hour mark that opened the gates wide open as New Zealand went on to score 5 tries. 69 metres gained including a 50-metre dart for his try, 80% kick success rate and 14 points to end off a very successful night.
These days it is very hard to name a team of the week or even a top performers chart without mentioning this man. Every single game it appears he steps it up a notch and turns on another gear. How man does he have? Only still 25 years old the versatile loose forward who was playing in the No.6 jumper tonight was fantastic. All over the park the 102kg Rongotai College tutored flank ended the night with the following statistics: 12 carries, 13 tackles and 66 running metres. An outstanding overall performance.
The silent assassin did well to keep the Australians out with 17 tackles made (the highest tonight). It is impressive to see this tall towering timber continuously doing the dirty and often unappreciated work. Together with Patrick Tuipolutu they did well to get behind they front three and were of utmost importance in the scrum penalties that were won by New Zealand.