Rampant All Blacks punish depleted Wales
MATCH REPORT: New Zealand kick off their year-end tour with a comfortable 54-16 win over Wales in Cardiff on Saturday.
The All Blacks outscored Wales seven tries to one at a capacity 70,000-plus Principality Stadium in another ominous reminder of their power as they went back to the top of the world rankings.
*To recap all the action CLICK HERE!!!
Beauden Barrett has marked his 100th test with two intercept tries.
While TJ Perenara, Will Jordan, Dalton Papali, Sevu Reece and Anton Lienart-Brown also dotted down with Jordie Barrett adding three penalties and five conversions for a personal tally of 19 points.
Wales, who lost skipper Alun Wyn Jones to injury early on, replied with a try from Johnny Williams and penalties from Gareth Anscombe (2) and Rhys Priestland.
Captain Jones, in his 149th appearance for Wales, was forced off with a shoulder injury as he attempted to tackle Jordie Barrett. It was the same one dislocated playing for the British & Irish Lions against Japan in June.
New Zealand ran riot in the final 20 minutes with a display of running rugby that even the most ardent Welsh supporters could not help but admire, but it was Beauden Barrett’s early try that laid the platform for their victory.
The former World Rugby Player of the year took only five minutes to intercept a pass from Wales flyhalf Gareth Ainscombe, who was returning to Test rugby following an absence of more than two years following a major knee injury, and run down the pitch to dot between the posts.
Perenara added another try about 30 minutes later but the All Blacks had a tenuous 18-6 lead at halftime and started the second half down to 14 men when Nepo Laulale was yellow-carded for a no-arm tackle on Ross Moriarty.
But when the rain began to pour, the Kiwis were at their devastating best with a clever kick and chase for Jordan’s 55th- minute try, followed by four more in a rampant last 15 minutes, including another interception for the centurion on the final whistle.
Wales, who were without their English-based players, had one highlight when Priestland’s clever kick allowed Williams to rush through and dot down ahead of the Kiwi defence for their only try on the hour mark.
“We wanted to ramp it up a bit there in the second half. We were happy with the outcome after a different week for us, coming across from playing in Washington,” All Blacks captain Sam Whitelock said.
Man of the match: Taine Basham was a standout performer for the Wales team. For New Zealand, Jordie Barrett, Will Jordan and Ethan Blackadder deserve a mention for their contributions. Beauden Barrett, as you have come to expect, delivered another incredible display scoring two tries. However, our nod goes to All Blacks loose forward Ardie Savea. The No.8 was tremoudous. He made solid tackles and had a hand in a couple of tries.
Moment of the match: Beauden Barrett’s intercept try in the fourth minute – certainly a fitting start to his 100th Test. He concluded the match in the same manner with an intercept try in the 79th minute.
Villain of the match: The referee Matthiey Raynall’s decisions. One call that raise a few eyebrows was Nepo Laulala’s dangerous tackle on Ross Moriarty – who the referee only handed a yellow card and should have been red. Another All Black that should’ve been punished was Beueaden Barrett. The No.10 was nowhere near catching the ball and got away with a blatant professional foul that stopped Wales from scoring under the posts.
Pens: Anscombe 2, Priestland
For New Zealand:
Tries: B Barrett 2, Perenara, Jordan, Papalii, Reece, Lienert-Brown
Cons: J Barrett 5
Pens: J Barrett 3
Yellow card: Nepo Laulala (New Zealand, 39 – Shoulder charge)
Wales: 15 Johnny McNicholl, 14 Owen Lane, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Johnny Williams, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Tomos Williams, 8 Aaron Wainwright, 7 Taine Basham, 6 Ross Moriarty, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (captain), 4 Adam Beard, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Wyn Jones.
Replacements: 16 Ryan Elias, 17 Rhys Carre, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 Will Rowlands, 20 Seb Davies, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Rhys Priestland, 23 Ben Thomas.
New Zealand: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Will Jordan, 13 Anton Lienert-Brown, 12 David Havili, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 TJ Perenara, 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Dalton Papalii, 6 Ethan Blackadder, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 Samisoni Taukei’aho, 17 Karl Tu’inukuafe, 18 Tyrel Lomax, 19 Tupou Vaa’i, 20 Akira Ioane, 21 Brad Weber, 22 Richie Mo’unga, 23 Sevu Reece.
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Assistant referees: Karl Dickson (England), Christophe Ridley (England)
TMO: Brian MacNeice (Ireland)