Black cloud over NZ win

Sat, 24 Nov 2012 19:13
Large liam messam try Large wales v nz1 Large wales v nz haka Large wales v nz2 Large israel dagg v wales 630

New Zealand retained their remarkable decade-long victory run on year-end tours, when they demolished Wales 33-10 in Cardiff on Saturday.

New Zealand retained their remarkable decade-long victory run on year-end tours, when they demolished Wales 33-10 in Cardiff on Saturday.

It has not just been 10 years since the All Blacks lost a match on a year-end tour - when England beat them in November 2002 - but it was their 28th consecutive victory on these November visits to the Northern hemisphere..

However, a wonderful victory was soured by the disgusting behaviour of All Black hooker Andrew Hore, who displayed the worst kind of thuggish behaviour with a cheap shot on Welsh lock Bradley Davies - which resulted in the No.4 having to leave the field after being knocked out cold with a punch from behind.

The game featured a ferocious, no-holds barred opening quarter that saw three Welshmen helped off.

Apart from Hore's disgusting cheap shot, tighthead prop Aaron Jarvis suffered a nasty knee injury and captain Jamie Roberts left the field with a hip injury in the 19th minute.

Aaron Cruden, standing in for the injured Dan Carter, was at the heart of the World Cup victory by the World Cup champions, New Zealand.

The All Blacks outscored the Welsh three tries to two, but 18 points from the boot of the flawless Cruden, quick play of the ball, a ruthless defence and mastery at the breakdown were key to their success at a packed Millennium Stadium.

Wales' early hopes were not helped by their insistence on spurning three kickable penalties, and the defeat for Warren Gatland's men was their sixth on the trot, their worst run of defeats since 2003.

It was also a 25th consecutive loss to the All Blacks since 1953.

"Wales never gave up. We had to defend in the second half, the momentum swings about, but to win by 23 points in a place like this is a great result," said New Zealand skipper Richie McCaw.

"It was a reasonable performance but perhaps we did not treasure the ball as much as we could have. We will have to get over this afternoon, but we would be disappointed to go to Twickenham next week and not put in a big performance."

Wales surprisingly spurned two kickable penalties, instead asking Rhys Priestland to kick for the corner.

The second of his efforts went dead and handed the impetus straight back to the visitors.

And Cruden, in for the injured playmaker Dan Carter, made no mistake with his first effort at goal in the 10th minute.

Wales fullback Leigh Halfpenny showed all his defensive qualities with a tackle to wrap up wing Julian Savea in the corner as Cruden and Conrad Smith started to open up the Welsh backs.

As centre Jamie Roberts was helped off the field, Cruden kicked a second penalty, again for offside in the backline and then added a third when Wales captain Sam Warburton was penalised for playing the ball on the ground.

Liam Messam then crossed for one of the more memorable tries of the autumn internationals, rounding off a startling piece of play that started when Israel Dagg escaped two tackles and off-loaded to Savea.

The impressive Cuthbert managed to bring the winger down, but an offload to Cruden was recycled and the ball was sent spinning simply and effectively down the line, Messam the happy recipient of the final pass to cross in the corner.

With Cruden adding the extras, Wales were firmly on the back foot, but a 40-metre break by Jonathan Davies brought the crowd to their feet.

A penalty attempt was again spurned as Wales went for a try, but Priestland committed the cardinal sin of overkicking for touch, for the second time, handing the advantage straight back to New Zealand.

The All Blacks made no such mistake when Cruden kicked to the corner on the stroke of half-time.

Tony Woodcock was on hand to replicate his try in the World Cup final, the veteran prop crashing over through the middle of a line-out after a perfectly-executed tap down from the back.

Cruden kicked the conversion to leave the visitors 23-0 down at half-time, the fly-half adding a fourth penalty two minutes into the second period.

The floodgates appeared to have been opened when lock Luke Romano crashed through Cuthbert after a fine draw-and-pass by Savea. Cruden maintained his 100 percent kicking record.

But Wales were rewarded for their perseverance with a try through unusual means: all 15 players joined a maul off a line-out and powered over the All Blacks line, Scott Williams touching down in the mass of bodies.

A raft of replacements in the last 15 minutes made for a frantic end in which Cuthbert got a deserved consolation try as the All Blacks maintained a winning record in November internationals in 28 matches dating back to 2002.

Man of the match: There were so much that was good about New Zealand's performance - Richie McCaw leading from the front again and Aaron Cruden showing  that the All Blacks lose nothing when he steps in for Dan Carter. However, our award goes to the world's foremost fullback. New Zealand No.15 Israel Dagg - who launched some blistering counter attacks and started the rout by setting up Liam Messam's try when he beat several defenders with a weaving run from deep inside his own 22.

Moment of the match: You have all those classic All Black tries, none better than Liam Messam scored the opening five-pointer after Israel Dagg started a counter from deep inside his own 22. However, our award goes to the Scott Williams try in the 57th minute - when Wales put all 15 their players in the line-out and mauled over for one of the most delightful moments in the match.

Villain of the match: It is a simple choice. It goes to New Zealand hooker Andrew Hore, who displayed the worst kind of thuggish behaviour with his cheap king-hit on Welsh lock Barley Davies. He should be banned for a very long time!

The scorers:

For Wales:
Williams, Cuthbert

For New Zealand:
Messam, Woodcock, Romano
Cons: Cruden 3
Pens: Cruden 4

Yellow card: Cory Jane (New Zealand, 60 - professional foul, slapping the ball away)


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 (captain), 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.

All Blacks: 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 (captain), 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, 8. Charlie Faumuina, 19 Brodie Retallick, 20 Victor Vito, 21 Piri Weepu, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Ben Smith.

Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jérôme Garces, Greg Garner (England)
TMO: Graham Hughes (England)