1. Julian Savea - where is he at in terms of nailing down the No11 jersey?

Patrick McKendry:

He perhaps didn't have the performance he was hoping for after being dropped last weekend, but not a lot went his way. The body is right and the mind is willing. Now he just needs to perform for the Hurricanes. Savea is such a devastating finisher he would be my No11 for any big test.

Gregor Paul: Probably not as far away as it looks. the fact he improved from a catastrophic start suggests he has got some form of mental robustness and he could play himself back into top form at the Hurricanes. The jersey is his if he does.


Wynne Gray: Savea is a long way short of the standards the All Blacks expect from him. They gave him another chance and assessed he was in the right shape to get back into test rugby. He was sluggish and off the mark mentally. The big question now is whether he will regain his venom and how.

NZ Herald rugby writers Patrick McKendry and Gregor Paul comment on the All Blacks final test match against Wales

2. Were the All Blacks really good or Wales really bad last night?


The All Blacks were good. They got the quick ruck ball they were looking for, and the Israel Dagg-Ben Smith combination, plus the performance up the middle of George Moala, meant a tired Wales were reduced to chasing shadows.

GP: Bit of both. There were periods when the All Blacks were exceptional but Wales looked awfully like a team that didn't want to be there for much of the game.

WG: The All Blacks were strong without being anything special but that was far too good for a Welsh side which has not gone to the next level.

Video will play in
Play now
Don't auto play

Never auto play
Footage courtesy of Sky Sports. The All Blacks engine would now appear to be purring, not full noise but making the sort of noises that bode well. Beauden Barrett, Israel Dagg and Ben Smith led the way in the 46-6 win.

3. What is Steve Hansen's toughest selection, assuming everyone is fit, for the Bledisloe Cup test in Sydney on August 20?


The midfield. Sonny Bill Williams won't be available until the week later following his Olympic commitments, so Ryan Crotty could keep the No12 jersey. The big question is who will start at centre? Possibly Charlie Ngatai following his concussion recovery, or, on the evidence of last night, George Moala ahead of Malakai Fekitoa.

GP: Who to partner in the midfield. And who to play on the wing. Ryan Crotty presumably starts with one of either Malakai Fekitoa or George Moala. And they will probably wait to get a better feel for where Savea is at during Super Rugby before they decide on that one.

WG: First five eighths. This is such a pivotal position in the team and it affects so many other parts of the combination. Pick Cruden or Sopoaga and that allows Barrett to bring multiple cover or impact from the bench. Start him and you don't get that versatility in the reserves but in the form he is showing can the ABs afford to leave him out of their starting XV?