What an occasion! Okay so the quality of the rugby was below the expected but there were contributing factors.
Samoa threw everything at the All Blacks. They rattled them with ferocious defence. They attacked them whenever possible and never allowed the world No.1 team to settle.
New Zealand played possibly one of their worst games in memory. They didn’t adjust to the heat and they never dominated the Samoans or controlled any aspect of the game. For a brief period early in the second half they looked like they were about to take control. Then Samoa came back and rattled them again. For New Zealand to take a late penalty goal to snuff out any possible Samoan victory tells the story.’Whew! We got out of that one!
No matter. New Zealand took a start-studded team (4 players with 100+ test caps) to do Samoa a great honour and to show great respect. 10 out of 10. New Zealand finally played a test match IN Samoa. 3 out of 10 because this should have happened long ago! If in future a test match is not played in the islands annually by either Australia or New Zealand then Wednesday was to no benefit long term and was for nought.