All Blacks firepower and finesse when their few opportunities occurred denied Ireland their sought-after double winning 21-9 in a tough encounter in Dublin.
With so much pressure on the home team to repeat, and on the All Blacks to improve their effort on Chicago, the intensity of the New Zealand start demonstrated their intent and two tries in the first 13 minutes allowed them a cushion that they used to the full.
The urgency that marked Ireland's effort in Chicago could not be repeated and while the Irish loose forwards were outstanding, the tight five were quelled and there was little doubt the steel was back in the All Blacks pack with locks Brodie Retallick, who had a high tackle count, and Sam Whitelock made a significant difference.
At the same time it was another indisciplined display with far too many penalties conceded, two yellow cards, and while the high number of tackles made inflated the number of misses, there were some useful breaks made by Ireland, especially the replacement flanker Josh van der Flier.
However, the scrambling cover meant Ireland went tryless and in such a tough Test match that proved crucial. Ireland's kicking was not so effective and that was the result of greater pressure from the All Blacks pack.
An injection of pace from the substitutes' bench midway through the second half provided some welcome relief for the All Blacks and resulted in the game-breaking try to centre Malakai Fekitoa, his second of the night, in the 65th minute.
Man of the match Beauden Barrett had moved to fullback and joined a short-side move working a double round move with second five-eighths Anton Lienert-Brown, who did well to hold his feet, to find Barrett. He linked inside with replacement halfback TJ Perenara and he slipped a superb pass behind the back of wing Andrew Trimble to give Fekitoa a run at the line.
Thirteen phases from the kick-off to start the game by the All Blacks produced a stirring opening, and even saw the ball turned over and regained before a kick across the goalmouth was taken by Fekitoa, who stepped halfback Conor Murray to score, after 2mins 48sec.
Untidy work at the restart resulted in Ireland going close to scoring when halfback Aaron Smith's pass went to ground and the All Blacks scrambled to hold them out. Whitelock won Irish ball at the lineout but the slapped ball wasn't taken by Smith and the Ireland's loose forwards mounted some strong charges through Sean O'Brien, who was stopped in a vital goal-line tackle by Barrett, CJ Stander and No.8 Jamie Heaslip.
However, their only reward was a penalty goal for Jonathon Sexton in the ninth minute. Ireland suffered a blow when second five-eighths Robbie Henshaw had to be stretchered off after a head knock in a collision with flanker Sam Cane.
New Zealand won a mid-field scrum and a set-piece play Smith's flat pass allowed Barrett to step Murray and race to the goal-line in the 13th minute. There was some delay before the TMO was convinced Barrett had grounded the ball.
Moments later a significant moment occurred with Smith was sin-binned for constant infringing but Cane and Sexton each left the field to be replaced following injuries.
Ireland started the second half with all the possession spending much of the third quarter around the All Blacks 22m area and providing a thorough test for the All Blacks defence. That brought its own discipline tests and in the 48th minute Fekitoa succumbed with a head high tackle on Murray.
The All Blacks had a chance to get some welcome time with the ball after a lineout move saw captain Kieran Read take the ball at the front of the lineout and pass back to hooker Dane Coles and he made 40m but then Read was off-side at the ruck and in the subsequent play Sexton's replacement Paddy Jackson landed a penalty goal to get Ireland back within five points.
However, the injection of vitality from the bench, headed by Perenara, took play back downfield more often than not, and while there was some disappointing loss of ball due to poor passes, the danger was minimized and the defence stood firm.
Scorers: Ireland 9 (Jonathon Sexton pen; Paddy Jackson 2 pen) New Zealand 21 (Malakai Fekitoa 2, Beauden Barrett tries; Beauden Barrett 3 con). HT: 6-14