Ben Smith – 8
A brilliant open field attacker. Ireland’s best defenders simply couldn’t contain his slippery lateral running that yielded vital yardage when he straightened up.
Israel Dagg – 7
Almost hared away for two tries but was either pulled down or pulled back by error. Certainly brought an improved presence to help fix the All Blacks’ aerial troubles in Chicago.
Malakai Fekitoa – 8
Terrible refereeing saw him yellow carded on 48 minutes when his forearm wrap around Zebo’s head looked nothing but a straight red. Superb defence in the outside channel denied Ireland several scores.
Anton Lienert-Brown – 6
Not allowed or able to influence the contest like the great inside centres – Ma'a Nonu and Sonny Bill Williams – that went before him, and SBW will regain the 12 jersey when his Achilles heals.
Julian Savea – 6
Uncertainty under the high ball has transformed the world's most devastating winger into a defensive liability. The all-seeing Joe Schmidt ensured Murray or Jackson tortured him at any opportunity. Did bash the daylights out of Kearney and others but hauled off.
Beauden Barrett – 9
What a player he is. Ireland had their defensive shape and looked organised so he chipped over them or outsprinted them or put in a delicate kick pass for Fekitoa’s first try.
Aaron Smith – 6
Still not himself. An early wayward pass but his team under horrendous pressure and deserved his yellow card for constantly refusing to roll away. As soon as he returned he flopped over the tackled Irish player.
Joe Moody – 7
Eclipsed by the mighty Tadhg Furlong in scrum and general play as Wyatt Crockett seemed to make a greater impact.
Dane Coles – 8
Narky, hard belting and brilliantly balanced runner who was overly keen to make up for the lineout malfunctions in Soldier Field. He will love Dylan Hartley this summer (not that the England hooker is the nailed on Lions starter – that would be Rory Best).
Owen Franks – 8
The anchor for so much All Black assaults on the opposition and seemed as damaging as ever in the close in war of attrition with one precious turnover.
Brodie Retallick – 9
Best lock on the planet. Only bested in open field activity by Barrett’s magnificence. Even soared into Toner’s stratosphere at set piece. Goliath.
Sam Whitelock – 8
Looked to be suffering from a damaged ankle, but sucked it up with a gut-busting 50 metre sprint on the hour mark to deny Paddy Jackson a quick lineout. The type of man made for this insane game.
Liam Squire – 7
Seán O’Brien’s shadow, neck rolling or grounding the Tullow farmer but it was an engaging duel, collision after wincing collision.
Sam Cane – 7
Took Robbie Henshaw out of the game with a shuddering shoulder to head tackle on nine minutes. TMO Jon Mason saw a head clash. Got removed from the contest himself after getting hurt nailing a high flying Rob Kearney.
Kieran Read – 9
Hell hath no fury. Towering performance right from kick off when he illegally challenged Seán O’Brien in the air. Sanction: a telling off. Uncompromisingly brilliant response to murmurings about his leadership.
Replacements – 7
Not the impact New Zealand hoped would see Ireland well and truly put away, not enough to beat the bookmakers 16 point handicap.
Coach – 8
Steve Hansen was in terrible form afterwards, flinging questions back at innocent journalists inquiring about all those high shots. "Do you want me to tell you we're a dirty side? Move on."