Planet Rugby

All Blacks bag another Grand Slam

27th November 2010 16:52

Share:

Mils Muliaina Wales NEw Zealand nov 2010

Untouchable: Mils Muliaina scores for the All Blacks

Wales made New Zealand work hard for their Grand Slam decider, with the visitors eventually running out 37-25 winners in Cardiff.

Dan Carter broke Jonny Wilkinson's world Test points record at the Millennium Stadium as the All Blacks completed their third Grand Slam tour of Britain and Ireland in six seasons.

All Blacks fly-half Carter missed four first-half kicks, but an early long-range penalty took him past England star Wilkinson's mark of 1,178.

Wales gave the red-hot 2011 World Cup favourites a real fright though, trailing 13-12 early in the second period after Carter's opposite number Stephen Jones landed four penalties.

But the All Blacks displayed their renowned ruthless streak when it mattered, with Hosea Gear scoring two tries - his second when substitute Daniel Braid was in the sin-bin - while full-back Mils Muliaina, Gear's fellow wing Isaia Toeava and substitute prop John Afoa also touched down.

Carter added three conversions and two penalties, and Jones slotted two more three-pointers, plus a conversion of full-back Lee Byrne's well-worked late try to see him finish with 20 points.

But Wales have now lost 24 successive games against New Zealand and gone seven matches without a win since beating Italy in last season's Six Nations Championship.

They can take a degree of comfort from their fiercely-committed display, a quality they will again need in abundance when opening Six Nations opponents England arrive in Cardiff on February 4.

Scrum-half Mike Phillips, flanker Sam Warburton and centre Tom Shanklin all delivered powerful performances, yet Wales ultimately went the same way as England, Scotland and Ireland this month, beaten comfortably by the best team on planet rugby.

Wales took the lead inside two minutes when Jones slotted a penalty after he was tackled late by Gear.

The All Blacks wing turned his ankle after landing awkwardly following the challenge, but he soon ran it off by punishing Wales with a soft fifth-minute try.

Missed tackles by Shanklin and wing George North on Toeava gifted New Zealand an opportunity, and Gear went over unopposed in the corner.

Carter missed the touchline conversion attempt, yet he found his range just four minutes later from 49 metres to overtake Wilkinson and give the visitors an 8-3 advantage.

Gear's score served as a graphic reminder to Wales they could not afford such defensive lapses, but the lesson went unheeded.

New Zealand struck again midway through the first-half as Carter injected pace into a routine counter-attack, and Muliaina glided in from halfway, eluding half-hearted challenges from Wales flanker Dan Lydiate and his back-row colleague Ryan Jones.

Carter failed to convert - his third miss in four attempts - and that was just as well for Wales as the All Blacks built an imposing 10-point lead.

Wales showed glimpses of their renowned attacking ability, creating chances when they put width on the ball, but centre James Hook could not quite stretch over the line, knocking on under pressure from Muliaina's tackle.

Jones cut the with a second penalty, and with Wales enjoying territorial dominance, New Zealand had to step up their defensive work-rate.

The visitors were not helped when their influential number eight Kieran Read limped off just before the break, and Wales maintained impressive momentum as Jones completed his penalty hat-trick.

Carter then missed another kick on the stroke of half-time, ending a fast and furious opening period that saw Wales firmly in touch despite their misfiring lineout and occasional defensive fragility.

Wales, desperate to avoid going through their four-match autumn series without a win, gained fresh impetus with the arrival of back-row substitutes Andy Powell and Jonathan Thomas after 48 minutes.

The All Blacks were rattled, confirmed by Braid - Read's replacement - being yellow-carded for not rolling away after tackling Stephen Jones.

Jones brought Wales to within a point by booting the resulting penalty, yet it was the cue for New Zealand to step up intensity levels, and slick passing saw Gear claim his second try.

Carter added the extras and then kicked a penalty, but two more Jones penalties during a four-minute spell gave Wales renewed hope.

An upset briefly looked possible - then New Zealand emphatically snuffed out any prospect through late scores from Toeava and Afoa.

It was rough justice on Wales, and their frustration was underlined when Powell high-tackled All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw - an incident which could easily result in him being cited by match commissioner Rob Flockhart.

But they at least had the final word through Byrne's consolation effort that Jones improved, although New Zealand once again emerged victorious and extended an unbeaten record against Wales that stretches back to 1953.

The scorers:

For Wales:
Try: Byrne
Con: S Jones
Pens: S Jones 6

For New Zealand:
Tries: Gear 2, Muliaina, Toeava, Afoa
Cons: Carter 3
Pens: Carter 2

Wales: 15 Lee Byrne, 14 George North, 13 Tom Shanklin, 12 James Hook, 11 Tom James, 10 Stephen Jones, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Ryan Jones, 7 Sam Warburton, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Alun-Wyn Jones, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Matthew Rees (c), 1 Gethin Jenkins.
Replacements: 16 Huw Bennett, 17 Paul James, 18 Jonathan Thomas, 19 Andy Powell, 20 Martyn Williams, 21 Richie Rees, 22 Andrew Bishop.

New Zealand: 15 Mils Muliaina, 14 Isaia Toeava, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (c), 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Hore, 17 John Afoa, 18 Anthony Boric, 19 Daniel Braid, 20 Andy Ellis, 21 Stephen Donald, 22 Ma'a Nonu.

Referee: Alan Lewis (Ireland

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 5
Northampton vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 6
Saracens vs Wasps14:00
Sale vs Bath14:00
Leicester vs Newcastle15:00
London Irish vs Harlequins16:30
Sunday , September 7
London Welsh vs Exeter14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 6
New Zealand vs Argentina08:35
Australia vs South Africa11:05
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 5
Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Munster vs Edinburgh19:35
Saturday , September 6
Scarlets vs Ulster14:40
Connacht vs Newport Gwent D'gons17:00
Glasgow vs Leinster17:15
Sunday , September 7
Zebre vs Cardiff Blues17:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 5
Montpellier vs Castres20:45
Saturday , September 6
Brive vs Toulouse14:45
Clermont Auvergne vs Racing Metro Paris17:00
Lyon vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Bayonne18:30
Grenoble vs La Rochelle18:30
Toulon vs Bordeaux-Begles20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 5
Western Province vs Eastern Province Kings19:10
Saturday , September 6
Cheetahs vs Pumas15:00
Sharks vs Griquas17:05
Blue Bulls vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki 41 - 3 Bay Of PlentyTaranaki vs Bay Of Plenty Report
Auckland 16 - 16 TasmanAuckland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle 37 - 25 ToulouseLa Rochelle vs Toulouse Report
Grenoble 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 33 - 6 Stade Francais
Castres 30 - 6 BayonneCastres vs Bayonne Report
Racing Metro Paris 17 - 10 ToulonRacing Metro Paris vs Toulon Report
Lyon 24 - 6 Brive
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 25 - 36 CheetahsGriquas vs Cheetahs Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 41 LionsEastern Province Kings vs Lions Report
Blue Bulls 18 - 23 Western ProvinceBlue Bulls vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Counties Manukau 21 - 27 Hawkes BayCounties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay Report
Southland 22 - 33 Otago
North Harbour 16 - 22 WaikatoNorth Harbour vs Waikato Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne 20 - 21 MontpellierClermont Auvergne vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 32 - 22 SharksPumas vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Wellington 21 - 27 ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Report
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00