All Blacks 38
Just for a while there you wondered, just wondered, whether this was going to be the day that 105 years of superiority was going to end.
Ireland were committed, they were tackling everything that moved and when they spread the ball, they were getting outside New Zealand's narrow defensive line and making some serious inroads.
When Stephen Ferris scored his first half try to snatch a deserved 13-9 lead for the hosts, the prospect of one the biggest parties Dublin's has ever seen was looming.
Then reality kicked in. As halftime ticked over Anthony Boric, playing his finest test in a black jersey, scored after Andy Ellis got lucky with a loose ball.
That gave the All Blacks a six-point advantage they had turned to 20 within 10 minutes of the restart.
That three-try explosion of try-scoring was the only coherent stretch of play New Zealand mustered in the match, but it was enough to ensure victory.
Especially when Dan Cater was kicking like a dream, his four penalties and three conversions giving him 18 for the match and putting him in position to claim the world test points-scoring record in Wales next week.
That must be hard for sides like Ireland to comprehend. They knew they had caught New Zealand on an off day, they played pretty well themselves, yet looked up at the scoreboard and saw 38 points beside the opposition's name, knowing that with the best will in the world they were not going to be able to match that.
So Graham Henry gets his 100th test win as a head coach, but this one will have caused the brow to furrow more than most.
The All Blacks were poor defensively in the first half, with Ma'a Nonu exposed more than once. He was probably lucky not to be given the shepherd's crook at the break, such was the ease of which Ireland ran down his channel.
Admittedly he was better in the second half until replaced by Sonny Bill Williams with 20 minutes left, but it wasn't one of his great nights as an All Black and he will have an anxious wait until Tuesday when the players are informed by management as to whether they are playing against Wales.
Tom Donnelly will be doubtful for that match after leaving the field late in the first half with an ankle injury, opening the door for Whitelock to play an outstanding, try-scoring hand off the bench.
Kieran Read added a second try with the final act of the game and was again one of the All Blacks best, while his opposite Jamie Heaslip, atoned for his sending off in New Plymouth in the winter with a strong game.
All Blacks 38
Tries: Kieran Read 2, Anthony Boric, Sam Whitelock. Pens: Dan Carter 3 Cons: Carter 3.
Tries: Stephen Ferris, Brian O'Driscoll. Pens: Jonathan Sexton 2. Con: Sexton
- NZ Herald