All Blacks 60
The All Blacks thrashed Fiji 60-14 in the final-ever test match at the beloved Carisbrook in Dunedin.
Played in a half-full stadium, the All Blacks were clinical without being flash as they ran in eight tries to two, in a match also designed to help victims of the Christchurch earthquakes.
In his run-on debut, Colin Slade scored 19 points with a try, four conversions and two penalties in a polished display that would've pushed his case in securing the position as Dan Carter's back-up.
The All Blacks were far too-strong upfront as the Fjjian pack struggled to hold their scrum, conceding a penalty try in the 76th minute after referee Stuart Dickinson had become frustrated at the repeated collapses.
Captain Richie McCaw's intent on paying the Fiji the respect of a formidable test-opponent was demonstrated in the third minute, as he pointed to the posts inside their 22 for Slade to clip over the penalty from close range in the 3rd minute.
Fijian-born winger Sitiveni Sivivatu went over in the corner after patient build-up work allowed the All Blacks to outflank Fiji for the opening try in the 11th minute.
The Fijian scrum were unable to handle the All Blacks forward power at the set piece and their sixth penalty in the first 20 minutes resulted in Slade moving the scoreboard with his second penalty goal.
The All Black number ten scored his side's second try with a brilliant chip and regather to score under the uprights in the 24th minute.
With Fijian fullback Iliesa Keresoni turning over the ball outside his 22, Slade showed brilliant vision to chip the ball behind the defensive line and judged the awkward bounce to dive over and score.
Fiji's hopes of repeating a match winning performance by Samoa against a tier-one nation vanished in the 34th minute after hooker Andrew Hore scored his side's third try stepping inside winger Timoci Nagusa to score.
Adam Thompson on his home patch burrowed over from a metre out in the 39th minute, with eight phases of pick-and-go play resulting in the big flanker's try.
Slade nailed the sideline conversion to take his side into the break with a 32-0 lead.
The Fijians are world-renowned for producing fast players regardless of the number on the back of their jerseys, and their opening try of the match was certainly a testament to that fact.
Fiji number eight Sakiusa Matadigo picked up the ball from a turnover and showed plenty of pace to run 50 metres and hold off Colin Salde's challenge before flinging the ball back infield to halfback Nemia Serelevu to score in the 53rd minute.
The introduction of Piri Weepu off the bench brought immediate reward for the All Blacks as his natural ball-playing ability brought two tries in ten minutes.
He put in a brilliant angled kick for Conrad Smith to dive over and touch down before he scored a try himself.
After starting the movement in his own half with a neat chip-kick for Mils Muliaina the bearded halfback linked up with replacement Ben Smith to score.
Graham Henry cleared his bench as Carter and co. went on to stretch their legs in the final quarter with an All Black victory inevitable at that point.
Fiji had a brief moment of relief, with a brilliant solo try from Vereniki Goneva who scored after shrugging off Smith's tackle before scoring from a chip-and-chase in the 70th minute.
The All Blacks finished the final ten minutes with a flurry, scoring two tries with a penalty try and fullback Mils Muliaina scoring to take their score past the half century mark.
New Zealand 60 (Sitiveni Sivivatu, Colin Slade, Andrew Hore, Adam Thomson, Conrad Smith, Piri Weepu, Mils Muliaina tries; penalty try; Slade 2 pen, 4 con; Dan Carter 3 con) Fiji 14 (Nemia Serelevu, Vereniki Goneva tries; Seremaia Bai 2 con). Halftime: 32-0.
- Herald online
All Blacks 60