Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll admitted his side had been "smashed" as the All Blacks completed a series whitewash with a record 60-0 victory at Waikato Stadium. Two tries from Sonny Bill Williams and Sam Cane broke the back of Ireland's challenge as New Zealand led 29-0 at half-time.
By the final whistle, the All Blacks had run in nine tries in a scintillating show that ended Ireland's season on a low with what was their worst ever defeat by New Zealand. O'Driscoll said: "You get sick of that scoreline pretty quickly. It is a difficult one to take. The second you give them two or three scores by 20 minutes they are a different team. They start to play with a buffer. They dominated us at the breakdown. They smashed us today and, as a result, we weren't able to put together many phases. There was an amount of unforced errors on top of that."
Ireland's coach Declan Kidney insisted the team would learn from the experience of two heavy losses in three weeks and said he would not be stepping down from his role. He said: "It is an honour to coach your country. I've been asked to coach my country and I will continue to do so. Right now it hurts.We've found out a lot of things about ourselves but we will look at that in the off-season.
"I can't remember all of their scores but they didn't have to work too hard for a lot of them," he said. "It is difficult to look back on other performances [by New Zealand against Ireland] and think of a better one."
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen believes the future is bright for his side after outstanding performances by young players including Cane, Beauden Barrett and Aaron Smith.
He said: "Aaron Cruden ran the team as if he had been there for years, then Beauden came in and did the same. Sam Cane was outstanding tonight. He has given me an easier night's sleep tonight because I know how to look after my mate [Richie McCaw] beside me here."
New Zealand: I Dagg; B Smith, C Smith (T Ellison, 59), S Williams; H Gear, A Cruden (B Barrett, 23); A Smith (P Weepu, 60), T Woodcock (B Franks, 76), A Hore (K Mealamu, h-t), O Franks, L Romano, S Whitelock (B Retallick, 57), L Messam, S Cane (A Thompson, 69), R McCaw.
Ireland: R Kearney; F McFadden, B O'Driscoll, P Wallace (C Henry,50), K Earls (A Trimble, 50); J Sexton, C Murray (E Reddan, 59); C Healy, R Best (S Cronin, 68), M Ross (D Fitzpatrick, 59), D Tuohy (D O'Callaghan, 55), D Ryan, K McLaughlin (R O'Gara, 54), S O'Brien, P O'Mahony.Reuse content