OPINION: The post-match All Blacks were a sedate lot at Eden Park.
Despite rolling the Wallabies 22-0 to secure the Bledisloe Cup on Saturday night, the All Blacks' demeanour was tempered and their comments measured.
The wistful look in their eyes relayed the message this could have been a wild rout; they missed a chance to ensure the damage inflicted on the Australians' psyche was even more severe.
Instead the New Zealanders managed just the one try to fullback Israel Dagg; later they reacted by poking holes in aspects of their own game, highlighting a basket of botched scoring opportunities and blaming a lack of patience and awkward execution.
Richie McCaw lost the ball as he lunged over the line, Kieran Read was tackled just short as he flung out a telescopic arm towards the chalk, Dagg was chopped down by a brilliant Adam Ashley-Cooper tackle in the corner, Liam Messam had the ball plucked from his grasp by Sitaleki Timani and Dan Carter looked certain to nail a try but inexplicably tossed a wild pass instead.
All could have been tries.
The flipside was not since 1962, when fullback Don Clarke kicked a penalty to give them a 3-0 victory in Dunedin, have the All Blacks kept the Wallabies scoreless.
And Sonny Bill Williams must regret his decision to leave New Zealand so soon.
He has undoubtedly been too hasty to rush off and Steve Hansen's admission he doesn't believe SBW wants to go in his "heart of hearts" reinforces that the decision was rash.
Robbie Deans' decision to start playmaker Quade Cooper earned the Wallabies few rewards.
On the rare occasions they did threaten, their backs inexplicably kicked possession away, fundamental errors by Berrick Barnes undermined their confidence and the yellow card to halfback Will Genia switched the momentum the All Blacks way.
The worry for Deans ahead of the dead rubber to be played against the All Blacks in October is they are so bullish about how much they can improve.
So much for the hangover repeatedly predicted after last year's World Cup victory.
- © Fairfax NZ News