How the world media reacted to New Zealand's 42-19. win over Ireland at Eden Park.
Shuddering reality check
By Gerry Thornley, Irish Times
Ireland have made progress in the last two and a half years, as evidenced by a dozen wins in their previous 13 Tests going into this match. But the All Blacks in New Zealand is different gravy, all the more so in Eden Park, and this was a shuddering reality check.
...as the errors crept in and the All Blacks upped their physicality, increasingly bossing the collisions; pretty much every Ireland mistake was ruthlessly punished.
Behind their pack, Aaron Smith and Beauden Barrett were imperious, and the All Blacks also protected their try line with more ferocity, holding up Irish players over the line five times.
Ireland will rightly take some encouragement
By John Fallon, Irish Examiner
A repeat of the Hamilton horror show from a decade ago was on the cards, so Ireland will rightly take some encouragement from their second-half display. At least three times they were held up or spilled the ball over the line. The game may have been gone from them but they will feel they were a lot closer to the All Blacks than 42-19.
But the key lesson, as if Ireland needed it at this stage, is the level of damage New Zealand will do if a team crumbles as Ireland did in the 11 minutes before the break.
Andy Farrell and his players will relish the chance to try to rectify some of this next week. That, in itself, is a positive because if it wasn't for that second-half battling display everyone would be just counting the days to getting home.
Poor marks for the Kiwi Irish/Irish Kiwis
The New Zealand-born players in the Irish side were the poorest performers according to the Irish Examiner. Winger James Lowe and halfback Jamison Gibson-Park both graded just four marks out of 10 for their efforts.
Ardie Savea was named best on the field with a nine rating.
"Exploited Irish defensive frailty to the hilt. His first try just before half-time ensured that the All Blacks didn't merely avenge their beating in Dublin but that they effectively stopped their opponents a long way inside the distance. His second, just after half-time, left bodies strewn in his wake."
Reports of an All Blacks demise may have been exaggerated
By Charlie Morgan, Telegraph UK
New Zealand overwhelmed Ireland with a ruthless attacking display that yielded six tries and represented a firm statement to open this three-match series: reports of an All Blacks demise may have been exaggerated.
Making light of their disjointed build-up and a sluggish start, which saw Keith Earls cross for Ireland, the hosts demonstrated the clinical counter-punching that has been a hallmark of their greatest teams. A three-try flurry on the verge of half-time was devastating. Ardie Savea scored twice and Jordie Barrett amassed 17 points, including a try of his own.
Accepted wisdom suggests that northern hemisphere nations need to strike early on these tours and Ireland, who lost captain Johnny Sexton to a suspected concussion on a chastening night, have a difficult fortnight to come.
Social media reaction
They were not faultless
By Gregor Paul, NZME
New Zealand ticked the boxes they needed to secure the win. They got the big ticket items of scrum, lineout, breakdown and defence right but they were not faultless, nor so dynamic and ruthless to believe they are going to breeze through the rest of this season.
They have laid a good foundation, shown they can do the tough stuff, but they will need to add ball retention, finesse and a heavy dose of flair if they are to evolve into the team they want to be.
Will relieve the pressure valve
By Liam Napier, NZME
This victory is crucial for the All Blacks. Losing at home for the first time against Ireland was not an option. In that dreaded scenario, the walls would have caved in.
Victory, while not perfect, will relieve the pressure valve on All Blacks head coach Ian Foster, who emerged from Covid isolation on the day of the test, and his management team.