The Irish failed in their 25th attempt to beat the All Blacks last night, as the World Champions made their first appearance of 2012 and slipped straight in to top gear.
It wasn’t that the Irish were absolutely terrible, but they were found wanting when it came to accuracy, and they were without any true game-breaking x-factor, something the All Blacks had on display in spades.
Although they started with good intensity, too many kicks which were neither contestable nor found touch from the Irish allowed the home-side’s backline to quickly warm to their work, and when Julian Savea scored the first of his three tries on debut the signs were ominous.
Carter kicked like a pendulum, his willingness to take on shots from 50m out all the proof that was needed that his groin had fully recovered. 23-3 at halftime could so easily have been 30-3 had the Blacks not bombed a try on the buzzer, and a disjointed second spell, where both sides emptied their benches, conspired to keep the score respectable for the visitors.
42-10 was the tally when the full-time hooter sounded, and while an ever-humble Richie McCaw talked about having plenty to work on it is the touring side who will really be scratching their heads when they hit the training paddock this week.