All Blacks v USA Eagles: Damian McKenzie concedes defeat after being left in dust by US halfback Nate Augspurger

In a game where American highlights were few and far between, standout Eagles halfback Nate Augspurger's individual try stood out for the hosts and fans at Washington's FedEx Field.

With the first half winding to a close, the halfback broke clear from the base of a ruck 40 metres out, leaving All Blacks fullback Damian McKenzie in the dust with a monster left step to score under the posts, sending the local faithful delirious.

Asked about the moment after the match, a grinning McKenzie  - who had the best seat in the house for the Eagles’ first-ever try against the All Blacks - could only admit defeat.

"I thought he was going to keep going, but he just stepped me," McKenzie says. "He was one of their better players. 

“He was a tough bugger, he nearly ran over me at one stage as well."

While the try only briefly stemmed the All Blacks' tidal wave, as they tore clear to a predictably dominant 104-14 win, McKenzie appreciated what the moment meant to the occasion.

"It obviously wasn't great for us to have them score, but the crowd went nuts, so I think it just showed the passion that the American supporters have," he notes.

"But good on him, he done me inside out. Not so good for me, but great for him."

Augsburger's try was one of a pair from the Eagles, who were vastly outmatched by their counterparts in black, who ran a procession to the tryline all afternoon in the US capital.

Despite the obvious mismatch, All Blacks coach Ian Foster insists his players too clear benefits away from the non-contest, as they head to the UK to face Wales next weekend.

"This game was vital for us," Foster says. "There were a number of players who hadn't played for 3-4 weeks and it's a great chance to have a really good hitout. 

"To do it in a special stadium and on a special occasion, I think, is pretty valuable for us

"We go to Wales with a bit of contact under our belt. Really delighted with some of the skills stuff we put on the park and it gives us a good launching pad for what's going to be a big month."

While he recognises the result may have been demoralising for the Americans, who were only able to select US-based players, Foster believes they should take heart from the final stages of the game, where they started to string some encouraging passages of play together.

"I think they were a little shellshocked early in the first five minutes and it took them a while to actually figure out they actually could play against us," he says. "I thought that third quarter, they showed a lot more of what they can do

"It's a real growth point for them."

After the loss to the Springboks in the Rugby Championship finale at Townsville this month, the coaching staff had identified key areas for improvement heading into the match, most notably in their passing, support lines and handling - he believes all of them looked noticeably better.

Foster notes the game was also a great opportunity for players short on matchtime to get some minutes under their belt before the business end of the tour begins in Europe.

One such player was captain Sam Whitelock, who missed the Rugby Championship leg of the tour to be with his wife for the birth of their third child.

Playing his first test since August, the Crusaders veteran conceded he was a "little bit off" against the USA, as he shook off the rust from his layoff.

"I must admit, at different times, I was blowing a little bit, but I always expected that," Whitelock says. "Still felt really good out there, enjoyed it. 

"Could've done with a little bit longer, but sometimes the boss calls you when he calls you and there's nothing you can do about it."

Join us at 5am Sunday for live updates of the All Blacks against Wales