Ardie Savea, the strong man of the New Zealand pack
While the All-Blacks are still looking for the worthy heir to Kieran Read in the third center line, Ardie Savea has done more than deliver an element of response to Ian Foster and his staff against Ireland.
The usual third line wing held, like his teammates at the front, the barracks in closed scrum where the All-Blacks largely dominated the debates, putting the Clover XV pack to the torture.
But his performance does not stop there.
After following a game at the foot of Aaron Smith, he scored his fourth try just before the break (37th), then offered himself a double in the second half (52nd) after a personal exploit where he mystifies three Irish defenders before flattening.
A capital performance.
The Barrett brothers wear New Zealand
Imperials against the XV of clubs, Beauden, Scott and Jordie Barrett launched the All-Blacks summer tour perfectly.
Solid in his role as a scorer (6/6, 12 points), the back Jordie also distinguished himself by scoring his first try (20th), after a more than complicated start to the match and dominated by the Irish.
Precise in his choices, the opener Beauden launched the game perfectly for his partners, as evidenced by his decisive and millimeter pass with the foot to the attention of his center Quinn Tupaea, for the third New Zealand try ( 35th).
Finally and as usual, the third row Scott proved to be invaluable in his defensive slaughter, constantly coming to slow down the exits of Irish balls and ensuring several throws into touch.
Peter O'Mahony stood up to New Zealand forwards
It is undoubtedly the Irishman who stood out the most on Saturday.
Appointed captain after the early exit of Jonathan Sexton (see below), the indestructible Peter O'Mahony knew how to set an example to his people to thwart the New Zealand plans.
Multiplying the tackles (19), the Irish third line also scratched two balls on the ground and proved to be of paramount importance to counter the All-Blacks in the ruck areas.
The lack of Irish realism
If the victory of the All Blacks seems implacable at the end of this first test of the summer tour, the score is in no way revealing.
But the Irish fished in the last gesture to hope for better at Eden Park in Auckland.
A total of three tries will be denied to Jonathan Sexton's teammates.
Joey Carbery (58th), Josh Van Der Flier (59th) and Andrew Porter (75th) all three finished their race behind the in-goal, but without managing to flatten, after a forward or having been made return by defense all black.
Add to that the playing time spent in the opposing 22 meters during the first act (4 minutes 30 and a try for Ireland, a minute 30 and four tries for New Zealand) and the slap received by the XV of Clover has enough to leave some regrets.
Another concussion for Sexton
The years pass and the scourge persists.
After a heavy charge from Sam Cane, Jonathan Sexton suffered yet another concussion in his career, on New Zealand soil.
After not having responded favorably to the concussion protocol, he was replaced by Joey Carbery (31st).
An exit with serious consequences for Andie Farrell and his staff, as the Irish captain is an essential element of the starting XV, as evidenced by his first half hour of high flight.
It remains to be seen whether the Leinsterman will be able to hold their place during the next two tests of the summer tour in Dunedin on July 9, then in Wellington on July 16.
With 14 penalties whistled against the All-Blacks and 11 against Ireland, the English referee Karl Dickson did not lack work during this first round in Auckland.
The match was also tarnished by a multitude of scrums to redo but also shovel forwards and rough passes, mainly on the Irish side.
At the end of a grueling season, the two teams hope to show more discipline and precision during the next two Saturdays.