While everyone was expecting an All Blacks win over Georgia, it was the specifics of Saturday's 'unconvincing display' that has left commentators shaking their heads.
A win is a win is a win, and the All Blacks are no doubt relieved to have their spot in the quarter-finals assured.
But the world was hoping for more from the current champions: the BBC called the result 'underwhelming', while the Guardian chastised them for 'uncharacteristic sloppiness'.
That word - 'sloppy' - cropped up again and again: from the Australian, The Telegraph and a host of others, including ABC Online and Radio Sport.
There was no expectation that Georgia were in it to win it - The Australian called their side 'minnows' - but the Eastern Europeans' valiant efforts deserved a more controlled response from the New Zealanders, and one less riddled with errors.
New Zealand have had more handling errors than Parcel Force. #nzlvgeo— Dai Lama (@WelshDalaiLama) October 2, 2015
Even usual All Blacks hero Dan Carter was firmly in Cardiff, rather than Olympus: The Guardian said the game saw him 'reduced to the role of a mortal, knocked off his lofty perch along with the rest of his team by opponents who relished every moment.'
And The Australian spared no words on the subject, calling him simply 'culpable'.
Georgia fared far better in the world's estimation: the Irish Times said the losing side had 'made (the All Blacks) work for their win', while the BBC said that they performed their tackles 'with zeal', and should be proud of their performance.
On social media, people had as much to say about the All Blacks' moves on the pitch as they did the hair on their head:
The ABs new silly haircuts are making them play bad. They should follow Richie's example and never change their barnet #NZLvGEO— T-Bone (@thmslcn) October 2, 2015
If I had hair like Dan Carter right now id miss all those penalties too ! #NZLvGEO— Mr Rugby (@MRrugbyworldcup) October 2, 2015
Some even questioned the relationship between the two - a team of Samsons in sportswear?
That haircut seems to have affected Carter's balance. #NZLvGEO— Russell Brown (@publicaddress) October 2, 2015
For a game that had the potential to be rather exciting, between an up-and-coming side committed to doing their best and the current World Cup holders, many felt that the match had been a bit of a letdown.
The ABs are playing like the Tokoroa High First XV, but that might be an insult to Tokoroa #NZLvGEO— Jordan (@jgmccl) October 2, 2015
As the dust settles, Richie McCaw said it was not yet time to panic - but though the result may have been good enough to see the All Blacks through, it certainly wasn't good.