Blues midfielder Ma'a Nonu turned back the clock with a vintage performance against the Waratahs at Eden Park on Saturday.
The Auckland-based side won the match 32-29, recording their fourth straight Super Rugby win for the first time since 2011.
TJ Faiane, who played outside Nonu, is still coming to terms with playing with his idol.
"I grew up watching him," Faiane said. "I think he's the best 12 to ever wear the black jersey.
"Sometimes, you need to pinch yourself, when you're playing alongside your idol."
Nonu set up two tries and scored a try of his own, much to the satisfaction of coach Leon MacDonald.
"He was outstanding. His carries were with massive purpose and got us over the gain line.
"His defence was abrasive and he showed his versatility with a 55-metre run into the corner.
"When you've played over 100 tests like he has, it's invaluable on the field, I've got no doubt that the result - the way it went - in the end, he had a big part in that."
Asked if he was in the conversation to make the national team, MacDonald heaped praise on the All Black stalwart.
"What he has shown is you can't write him off," MacDonald said. "He's 36 years old and is going right to the end of 80 minutes.
"You've got to give him respect, because he'll go right past you, if you don't. He's playing good rugby and we are really grateful to have him with us this year."
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