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Savea barnstorms way to top form

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 22/10/2016 Angelo Risso

All Blacks flyer Julian Savea has proven the world's deadliest finisher is back to his best after rampaging through Saturday's third Bledisloe victory.

Savea stepped back into the side for the Eden Park clash after being rested in the Rugby Championship and looked dangerous from the get-go.

The winger scored a pair of tries, including one from a bruising run down the left, as well as two line breaks and two offloads.

He also assisted hooker Dane Coles for the final try in the 37-10 triumph, which gave the All Blacks a record 18th consecutive Test win.

Savea, 26, endured a torrid 2016 Super Rugby campaign after coming into the Hurricanes' pre-season overweight before producing several listless performances.

The winger was later dropped to the bench for his side's successful tilt at the Super Rugby crown, but has since shown improved form in the black jumper.

"It took a while to get a couple of ball carries but I was pretty stoked and the boys beside me worked really hard, you could see the bodies tackling, getting inside the rucks," Savea said.

"My job is just to try and finish off."

Savea was involved in perhaps the most important moment of the clash when counterpart Dane Haylett-Petty was penalised for obstruction as Savea chased down Henry Speight.

Speight crossed for what appeared to be a memorable try, only for the video referee to disallow the decision.

Savea admitted catching Speight in the circumstances would've been difficult, but sometimes the rub of the green goes your way.

"I was definitely relieved and pretty happy, but we saw they were pissed off and we needed to stay calm and play our game," Savea said.

Head coach Steve Hansen said it was heart-warming to see the Wellington native emerge unscathed from his form slump.

The team, including assistant Ian Foster, had worked intensely to rejuvenate Savea.

"We know he's a world class player when he can play well and in the big moments today he stood up," Hansen said.

Savea now has 45 tries in 49 Tests, four short of compatriot Doug Howlett's record of 49 Test tries.

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