Finally they clicked into third gear – and, crucially, held on to the ball – as Savea notched up his hat-trick in the 74th minute. Carter converted for 36-10.
Malakai Fekitoa added a late bit of cream to a generally sour night, but 43-10 did not paper over the cracks, evidenced by gutsy Georgia’s tireless captain, Mamuka Gorgodze, being named man of the match.
It was a colourful night for the Georgians in their first-ever contest against the world champions. Their ‘unbeaten record’ against New Zealand may have lasted only 73 seconds, but it’s the All Blacks who saw red and will feel blue in the morning.
All that said, if New Zealand kick on with menace in the play-offs, they may just send a note of thanks to Georgia for this most bruising and much-needed wake-up call.
He can’t believe it! Mamuka Gorgodze realises he’s man of the match, & possibly the most popular man in the stadium! https://t.co/ti7BlOvsBf
— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) 2 октября 2015