Savea stars in All Black romp against Ireland

12:59, Jun 09 2012
Tamati Ellison and Ben Smith
Tamati Ellison and Ben Smith discuss backline moves.
Hosea Gear
Hosea Gear during Monday's training at Onehunga High School
All Blacks scrum
The All Blacks engine room packs down scrums on Tuesday.
Richie McCaw
Captain Richie McCaw punts the ball during the All Blacks' Tuesday training.
Julian Savea
Wing Julian Savea holds the tackle pad for the Onehunga High girls team.
Israel Dagg
Israel Dagg teaches passing drills during the ABs surprise visit to Onehunga.
Israel Dagg
A Onehunga High girls 1st XV player steals a hug with Israel Dagg.
Hika Elliot
All Blacks hooker Hika Elliot was popular with the Onehunga girls.
Tony Woodcock
Prop Tony Woodcock holds the tackle pad on Monday.
Israel Dagg and Tamati Ellison
Tamati Ellison helps Israel Dagg off the ground at Fred Taylor Park.
Dan Carter
Dan Carter at All Blacks training on Tuesday.
Aussie McLean and Sam Cane
Assistant coach Aussie McLean chats with All Blacks newbie Sam Cane.
Richie McCaw and Conrad Smith
Captain Richie McCaw and his deputy Conrad Smith at the All Blacks' captain's run at Eden Park.
Dan Carter
Dan Carter gets in some long-range kick attempts at goal at Eden Park.
Victor Vito
Victor Vito flicks a ball over his head during the All Blacks' captain's run.
Sonny Bill Williams
Sonny Bill Williams waits by the players' entrance at Eden Park.
Tony Woodcock
Prop Tony Woodcock takes part in the All Blacks' captain's run.
All Blacks stretching
The All Blacks stretch before their final training walk-through.
SBW and Tamati Ellison
Sonny Bill Williams and Tamati Ellison signs autographs for fans at Pak n Save on Wainoni Rd in Christchurch ahead of the second test.
Sonny Bill Willliams
Sonny Bill Williams on the charge at a training session in Linwood as the All Blacks prepare for the second test in Christchurch.
Sonny Bill Willliams
Hosea Gear and Ma'a Nonu take time out at an All Blacks training session in Linwood ahead of the second test in Christchurch.
Sonny Bill Willliams
Tony Woodcock and Sam Whitelock practice scrummaging at an All Blacks training session in Linwood ahead of the second test in Christchurch.
All Blacks
Adam Thomson and Ben Franks share a laugh at All Blacks training in Christchurch.
Ireland
Ireland's Mike Ross and Sean Cronin doing some scrummaging during training in Auckland.
Ireland
Irish captain Brian O'Driscoll looks on at training.
Ireland
The Irish rugby squad continues training in Auckland after the first test.
Zac Guildford
Wing Zac Guildford leaps for a high ball during the captain's run.
Zac Guildford, Kieran Read and Sonny Bill Williams
Zac Guildford, Kieran Read and Sonny Bill Williams listen to instructions.
Sonny Bill Williams
Sonny Bill Williams passes the ball to a team-mate during the All Blacks' final run.
Dan Carter and Richie McCaw
Dan Carter and All Blacks captain Richie McCaw take part in kicking drills.
Richie McCaw and Piri Weepu
All Blacks captain Richie McCaw and reserve halfback Piri Weepu.
All Blacks training
All Blacks train with the New Zealand Black Sticks in Hamilton. Owen Franks, Cathryn Finlayson and Piri Weepu play touch.
All Blacks training
All Blacks train with the New Zealand Black Sticks in Hamilton. Benjamin Tameifuna shows his dexterity.
All Blacks training
All Blacks train with the New Zealand Black Sticks in Hamilton. Ella Gunson shows Sonny Bill Williams hockey stick basics.
All Blacks training
All Blacks train with the New Zealand Black Sticks in Hamilton. Aaron Smith plays a warm up game with Sam Harrison.
All Blacks
All Blacks (from left) Zac Guildford, Tamati Ellison and Ma'a Nonu are welcomed onto the Melville High School marae.
All Blacks
All Blacks (from left) Ma'a Nonu and Zac Guildford perform the haka with Melville High School students during a visit to the school.
All Blacks
Aaron Cruden talks to the media.
All Blacks
Analyst Alistair Rogers (left) shares a joke with Sam Whitelock and Piri Weepu.
All Blacks
Victor Vito, Liam Messam and Sonny Bill Williams during the All Blacks rugby training session at Beetham Park.
All Blacks
Victor Vito, Liam Messam and Sonny Bill Williams during the All Blacks rugby training session at Beetham Park.
All Blacks
Sonny Bill Williams and Zach Guilford during the All Blacks training session at Beetham Park.
All Blacks
Zach Guilford jumps high against assistant coach Ian Foster during the All Blacks training session at Beetham Park.
All Blacks
Julian Savea jumps high against assistant coach Ian Foster during the All Blacks training session at Beetham Park.
All Blacks
Israel Dagg jumps high against assistant coach Ian Foster during the All Blacks training session at Beetham Park.
All Blacks
Julian Savea, Zach Guilford and Ma'a Nonu during the All Blacks training session at Beetham Park.
All Blacks
All Black coach Steve Hansen, left, and Assistant Coach Ian Foster, right, during the All Blacks training session at Beetham Park.
All Blacks
Ben Tameifuna runs through drills with schoolboys following a training session in Hamilton.
All Blacks
Aaron Cruden runs through drills during a training session in Hamilton.
All Blacks
Sam Cane runs through drills during a training session in Hamilton.
All Blacks
Richie McCaw in action during a training session in Hamilton.
All Blacks
Sam Whitelock goes for a high ball during a training session in Hamilton.
All Blacks
Luke Romano goes for a high ball during a training session in Hamilton.
Richie McCaw and Steve Hansen
Richie McCaw and Steve Hansen talk at the All Blacks captain's run ahead of the third test.
Ma'a Nonu
Ma'a Nonu poses for a photo with some Hamilton fans.
Richie McCaw
Richie McCaw talks to media at the captain's run in Hamilton.

The Irish can't say they weren't warned. At the start of this week Julian Savea was dubbed a "triple threat" by a team-mate who predicted big things for the new All Black wing. He was right on both fronts.

Savea had a dream debut on the left for the All Blacks as they launched the Steve Hansen era in about as much style as could be expected for a first test match of the new season on the back of six days' preparation.

And the "triple threat" reference ended up being prescient as the 21-year-old ran in three tries to elevate a memorable night to the spectacular.

All Blacks
Debutant winger Julian Savea on the charge.
All Blacks
Halfback Aaron Smith takes the ball to the line.
All Blacks
The All Blacks perform Ka Mate prior to the first test of the season against Ireland at Eden Park.
All Blacks
All Blacks (from left) Aaron Smith, Israel Dagg and Richie McCaw congratulate Julian Savea (No 11) after he scored a try.
All Blacks
Players compete for the ball at the lineout.
All Blacks
The All Blacks lay down the challenge to Ireland.
Julian Savea gallery
Julian Savea goes in for his third try of the night.
Sonny Bill Williams gallery
Sonny Bill Williams is picked up in the tackle.
Zac Guildford gallery
Zac Guildford makes a charge downfield.
Israel Dagg gallery
Israel Dagg makes a bust.
Kieran Read
Kieran Read almost scores a spectacular try from a Dan Carter kick-off but is pulled in just short by the Irish defence.
Conrad Smith
Conrad Smith scores a late try for the All Blacks.
Adam Thomson
Adam Thomson celebrates his try against Ireland.

It was Hurricanes and new All Black team-mate Beauden Barrett who had described Savea's multi-faceted ability to beat defenders.

"He can chip, he can run around guys or he can run over them - so he's the triple threat," said the chirpy Barrett.

"There's no doubt the Irish will have to look out for him."

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Forewarned was not forearmed as Savea picked up two tries in an impressive second quarter by the All Blacks and had his hat-trick early in the second half as the best team in the world romped to a 42-10 victory.

His effort on debut is eclipsed only by Sitiveni Sivivatu's quartet of touchdowns in the 91-0 demolition of Fiji at Albany in 2005.

It was hard to shake the feeling last night that we witnessed something special being launched on to the test rugby stage as the young man who had been the IRB's under-20 player of the year back in 2010 made a seamless transition to the highest level.

This son of Samoan immigrants who has blazed an impressive trail through the rugby ranks in Wellington looks born to it.

He's got pace, size and strength in pretty formidable quantities. Not quite Jonah-like with his power, and maybe not quite the dexterity on his feet of a Sivivatu at his best.

But when you add the whole package together it's impressive.

Savea's favourite All Black as a young 'un had been Joe Rokococko, another pretty handy winger in his day.

And there was a fair bit of 'Joe Rocks' about the way the Wellingtonian went about his business last night.

His first try was a classic piece of finishing as Conrad Smith, Sonny Bill Williams and Dan Carter worked their magic to put the speedster away; and the second was pure power as Israel Dagg's wide, flat pass gave him the space to man his way through Rob Kearney and Connor Murray.

Again Dagg was the provider when the hat-trick was clinched just after the break, the masterful fullback committing Kearney beautifully to put Savea across. Right place, right time ... right on!

Hansen and his selectors deserve credit here too. They had identified him among their top three wings in their initial squad, with some doubt expressed about his promotion ahead of such proven performers as Zac Guildford and Hosea Gear, who would both eventually join him through injuries.

But Hansen and his sidekicks got this right. This young man is the future of the All Blacks, and now is the time to unleash him. Let him build the experience, the nous, the knowledge.

A young man who used to literally dance for his supper at family gatherings - along with his younger brother Ardie who is dazzling the sevens scene - had too much slick in his step for the Irish last night.

Really this test had been so much about the three new boys as Hansen introduced three debutants to start the process of regeneration.

Savea was the hit, no doubt. Halfback Aaron Smith looked useful as he got things rolling after the slow start with his crisp passing game, though further evidence is probably needed in arguably our most competitive position.

And we'll probably wait a few more tests before offering anything definitive on Brodie Retallick, who at 21 is a lock of incredible promise.

They'll come through this series, for sure.

Others to impress as the world champions continued their remarkable home winning streak (they haven't lost in New Zealand since September of 2009) included Israel Dagg, Daniel Carter - back to his best, no doubt - and the magnificent Kieran Read at No 8.

Richie McCaw lived what I'd been told he would too, the skipper said to be brutally determined there would be no post-World Cup letdown. There wasn't.

New Zealand
(J Savea 3, A Thomson, C Smith tries; D Carter 3 pens, 4 cons)

Ireland
(F McFadden try; J Sexton pen, con)

HT: 23-3.

Fairfax Media