The All Blacks convincingly won its first test in Nelson tonight, local Tasman Mako hero Shannon Frizell's performance in front of his home fans earning him man of the match.
BY JONTY DINE [Nelson App]
Trafalgar Park was packed to the brim with no empty seats in sight.
The atmosphere was bumper as the 21,404 strong Nelson crowd made their voices heard.
Frizell had a storming first forty, making several strong carries, his second surging break setting the hosts up for their first try through Nehe Milner-Skudder.
The flanker was immense, carrying the ball 16 times as the All Blacks top meter eater.
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen says his sides performance was not perfect by any stretch.
"They played particularly well, we had to show a lot of mental fortitude but every time they scored we came back which was pleasing."
However, Steve says Frizell was superb in just his second test start.
"We lost a lot of players early, so we couldn't be anything but extremely happy with him."
He says they did not plan to give the 108kg Frizell the full 80 minutes.
"At one point I didn't think he would get there but he found another wind, I think he can be pretty satisfied, he has got a big future."
Frizell capped off a memorable performance with a first test try in the 73rd minute to a rapturous ovation from his home fans.
"I feel awesome," Shannon says.
Shannon says the physical Argentinian side suited his style of play.
The towering Tongan says it was a special moment to dot down on his home ground where he has played for Marist and the Mako. "I was so stoked aye, I can't explain how stoked I am to be home."
Steve says the All Black's week in Nelson has been an incredibly enjoyable one. "It's been great, the weather is tremendous and the park is fantastic."
Steve says Trafalgar is one of the better pitches they have played on. "The community has been fantastic, everywhere we have gone have been well received, it has been a pleasure to be here."
Nelson man Michael Crewshaw says the wait for Nelson's first test was worth it. "What a game, All Blacks were awesome, now we just need to get them back!"