The quite staggering fact to take out of the All Blacks Eden Park Bledisloe victory is that they still haven't found their true flow and cohesion.

As incredible as it may seem given the way they moved the ball in the second half, is that their set play attack, while better, wasn't as good as they would have liked.

Good enough to win and better than Sydney, but not at the level they are chasing.

Much as happened in Sydney the week before, they didn't really find their rhythm when the game was structured. They threw a few wild passes, dropped a few easy balls and forced things more than they needed to.


And the All Blacks being the All Blacks, they will spend the next week or so looking at what went wrong rather than what went right.

Again, it's hard to take in, but the All Blacks will be so much more dangerous and even harder to beat when they have their structured plays working the way they want them.

At the moment, they are living off their unrivalled ability to pounce off turnover ball and counter attack.

It's quite stunning how good they are at it – so capable of transitioning from defence into attack and turning nothing into something.

It's what they did in Sydney and then took it to another level in Auckland. If Wayne Barnes hadn't discovered a new-found ability to detect forward passes, the All Blacks would have scored 50 and we'd all be wondering if we'd seen one of the greatest minutes of guerrilla rugby ever played.

The Wallabies, not that they would admit it, were in awe of what they encountered and coach Michael Cheika was frank in his assessment of where the game was won and lost.

For him the game was pretty much all square across the board but New Zealand scored six tries because they were so much more alert and alive to the opportunities that presented in broken play.

Their pass and catch was sublime. Their ability to interchange between forwards and backs is so much better than Australia's and the awareness of everyone was at a different level.


The All Blacks were in a different league when it came to the business of seeing and exploiting space and as the rest of the world searches for answers as to what sets New Zealand, the answer was clear for everyone to see.

Beauden Barrett is the best attacking rugby player on the planet and Ben Smith isn't so far behind. But while those two could be singled out, everyone did their bit and the other thing that sets the All Blacks apart is the ease with which the forwards get involved and make good decisions.

"I thought it was a pretty special performance by the team," said All Blacks coach Steve Hansen.

"One of the hardest things to do is back up a scoreboard dominant win. Tonight we had to come out and earn it again and I thought we played well. The boys got better as the night went on. Three tries off the set piece and three off the lineout – we are pretty happy with that."

As for the contribution of Barrett, Hansen, who has backed his man all the way, said: "Beauden is a special player. We know that and I understand everyone getting excited about Richie Mo'unga because we are too and he will be a special player.

"But you can't buy that experience and moments in the middle and Beauden has had those and we saw what happened when they all come together."