RECAP: New Zealand v Wales
READERS’ FORUM: Welcome to the World Cup third-place play-off match between New Zealand and Wales in Tokyo.
Highly respected Kiwi coaches Steve Hansen and Warren Gatland will bow out of the international game after Friday.
This is a game the latter joked could have been settled by a drinking game.
The semifinals saw Hansen’s All Blacks lose 7-19 to England, while Gatland’s Wales went down 16-19 to South Africa – plunging them into the dreaded bronze medal match.
Prediction: Does the result really matter? Well, if we must, we feel New Zealand should win comfortably – by 15 points or more.
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New Zealand: 15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 Liam Coltman, 17 Atu Moli, 18 Angus Ta’avao, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Matt Todd, 21 Brad Weber, 22 Anton Lienert-Brown, 23 Jordie Barrett.
Wales: 15 Hallam Amos, 14 Owen Lane, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Owen Watkin, 11 Josh Adams. 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Tomos Williams, 8 Ross Moriarty, 7 James Davies, 6 Justin Tipuric, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (captain), 4 Adam Beard, 3 Dillon Lewis, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Nicky Smith.
Replacements: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Rhys Carre, 18 Wyn Jones, 19 Jake Ball, 20 Aaron Shingler, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Dan Biggar, 23 Hadleigh Parkes.
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant referees: Jaco Peyper (South Africa), Pascal Gaüzère (France)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)