The All Blacks have concluded their 2014 Northern tour with a 34-16 victory over Wales in Cardiff Saturday night (Sunday morning NZT).
For Blues fans, the significance of the game stretched further than the final test of 2014. Keven Mealamu set the record at 362 for the most first-class games played, beating Colin Meads’ record and demonstrating his incredibly consistent performance in top-level rugby.
The game itself was not an 80-minute display of dominance,but it was a representation of what the All Blacks can do when fired up.
For onlookers, it was as if two games were being played. The first 60 minutes was very competitive between the two sides, the All Blacks battling strong defence from the Welshmen.
But the end of the game turned all black, with the NewZealand team displaying significant skill and fitness.
Blues 2015 captain Jerome Kaino scored the first of four tries in the final 20 minutes. This was followed up by some brilliant tries from Beauden Barrett – notably his chip and chase to the line with 10 minutes to go.
The Wales v All Blacks test marks the final game for 2014 and the team will be returning to New Zealand to join the respective Super Rugby teams ahead of the 2015 season.