Planet Rugby

All Blacks compound Wales' woes

24th November 2012 19:10

Share:

israel dagg

New Zealand: Pile on the misery for struggling Wales

Wales slumped to a sixth consecutive defeat after going down 33-10 to New Zealand at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on Saturday.

Predictions the All Blacks' attack would incinerate Wales' defence came to fruition in the first half especially. However even though the scoreline may read otherwise, it was a much better effort from the Welsh - the second half especially.

Be that as it may, coach Warren Gatland must have been shifting uncomfortably in his seat as he contemplated another difficult week following the home side's previous November defeats.

The hosts never threatened to end a 59-year drought at the hands of their southern hemisphere rivals, and their hopes were all but dashed by half-time when the clinical All Blacks put the result beyond doubt thanks to a 23-0 lead.

It proved too big a mountain for Wales to climb in the second half, though - bouyed by their parochial crowd in full voice - showed plenty of character and determination to fight back and outscore the world champions two tries to nill. There were no fist-pumps, high fives or backslaps from New Zealand after the final whistle as they knew that were some way from their best after being held 10-10 after the break.

The game couldn't have started any worse for Wales after losing two players two minutes into the contest. First, Bradley Davies was taken out from behind by All Blacks hooker Andrew Hore and the lock was forced off looking extremely light-headed.

Then tighthead prop Aaron Jarvis followed suit after injuring his knee.

To make matters even worse, All Blacks pivot Aaron Cruden was in fine touch with the boot and racked up a 9-0 lead for his team in the opening quarter before Israel Dagg broke from inside his 22 to link up with Julian Savea who raced into Wales' dangerzone. And just moments later, Conrad Smith was putting flank Liam Messam over for the opening try.

Wales came close to scoring after a trademark Jonathan Davies break brought the crowd on their feet, only for prop Paul James to return them to their seats after knocking the ball on. The Welsh didn't do themselves any favours later on as on two occasions Rhys Priestland missed the corner with penalties.

There was to be more pain for the Welsh to endure when Tony Woodcock went over for New Zealand's second try off the back of the same line-out move that saw the prop score in the World Cup final.

The deficit became 26 points just after the break as Cruden added another penalty, before a superb passing movement and a fine finish in the corner from Luke Romano gave New Zealand their third try. Cruden's conversion was his seventh successful kick from seven.

Wales finally got on the scoresheet just before the hour when full-back Leigh Halfpenny did find the corner with a penalty, Wales committed almost their entire team to the line-out drive and inside centre Scott Williams went over.

Wales had more of the game in the final quarter, particularly after Cory Jane was sin-binned for a deliberate knock on, and did cross again through Alex Cuthbert in the closing moments - but long before then the result was no longer in doubt.

Man of the match: Aaron Cruden and Conrad Smith were the pick of the New Zealand backs, but it was difficult to overlook loose forward Richie McCaw - who was his usual industrious self - as our man of the match. He was immense, smashing bodies in defence and proving to be the Kiwis everywhere man.

Moment of the match: Wales' first try only served to spark the hosts into action, and from there on in the Welsh raised their game.

Villain of the match: Andrew Hore's cheap shot from behind will surely interest citing commissioner Mike Rafter.

The scorers:

For Wales:
Tries: S Williams, Cuthbert

For New Zealand:
Tries: Messam, Woodcock, Romano
Cons: Cruden 3
Pens: Cruden 4
Yellow card: Jane (59th minute)

Wales: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Liam Williams, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Sam Warburton (c), 6 Ryan Jones, 5 Luke Charteris, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Aaron Jarvis, 2 Matthew Rees, 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Gethin Jenkins, 18 Scott Andrews, 19 Aaron Shingler, 20 Justin Tipuric, 21 Tavis Knoyle, 22 James Hook, 23 Scott Williams.

New Zealand: 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (c), 6 Liam Messam, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Brodie Retallick, 20 Victor Vito, 21 Piri Weepu, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Ben Smith.

Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand vs Australia08:35
Argentina vs South Africa20:40
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse vs Castres20:45
Saturday , August 23
Brive vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Toulon vs La Rochelle18:30
Bordeaux-Begles vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Montpellier vs Grenoble18:30
Bayonne vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Lyon20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , August 22
Pumas vs Griquas19:10
Saturday , August 23
Blue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
Western Province vs Lions17:05
Sharks vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour vs Southland19:35
Friday , August 22
Waikato vs Canterbury18:05
Hawkes Bay vs Taranaki20:05
Saturday , August 23
Northland vs Wellington14:35
Counties Manukau vs Otago16:35
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu vs Auckland14:35
Bay Of Plenty vs Tasman16:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 16
Australia 12 - 12 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
South Africa 13 - 6 ArgentinaSouth Africa vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Clermont Auvergne 30 - 26 GrenobleClermont Auvergne vs Grenoble Report
Brive 37 - 15 La Rochelle
Montpellier 16 - 19 Racing Metro ParisMontpellier vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Bordeaux-Begles 18 - 9 Lyon
Castres 22 - 25 Stade Francais
Toulouse 20 - 19 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Lions 60 - 19 Eastern Province KingsLions vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Western Province 41 - 17 Blue BullsWestern Province vs Blue Bulls Report
Cheetahs 34 - 27 GriquasCheetahs vs Griquas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Otago 28 - 14 North Harbour
Wellington 25 - 37 WaikatoWellington vs Waikato Report
Canterbury 48 - 9 AucklandCanterbury vs Auckland Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 15
Bayonne 15 - 29 ToulonBayonne vs Toulon Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Sharks 34 - 17 PumasSharks vs Pumas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Southland 34 - 23 Bay Of Plenty
Thursday , August 14
Taranaki 9 - 9 Counties ManukauTaranaki vs Counties Manukau Report
More ITM Cup results
Currie Cup
Saturday , August 9
Griquas 24 - 31 SharksGriquas vs Sharks Report
Pumas 28 - 21 CheetahsPumas vs Cheetahs Report
Lions 41 - 13 Blue BullsLions vs Blue Bulls Report
Friday , August 8
Eastern Province Kings 16 - 35 Western ProvinceEastern Province Kings vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
Super Rugby
Saturday , August 2
Waratahs 33 - 32 CrusadersWaratahs vs Crusaders Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00