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All Blacks' second-half power undoes Wales

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Lynn McConnell     18 Jun 2016     Getty Images

The final margin was inflated by two late Welsh tries when the issue was well beyond doubt.

Wales had taken the game to New Zealand for the first 50 minutes, holding the ball for long spells as they battered the home defences but all they could secure were 10 points as the All Blacks absorbed the pressure before they unleashed their power game to score 26 unanswered points.

Captain and No.8 Kieran Read led superbly by winning key lineout ball, controlling the ball at the back of the scrum and distributing well in the loose while also nursing the side through the 32nd minute loss of first five-eighths Aaron Cruden to a neck injury.

However, it was that loss which demonstrated the durability of this All Blacks side as Beauden Barrett stepped in seamlessly to settle in momentarily before taking Wales apart.

In the space of three minutes the All Blacks broke the 10-10 halftime deadlock as Barrett twice pierced the vaunted Welsh midfield pairing of second five-eighths Jamie Roberts and centre Jonathan Davies.

Having been denied the majority of possession during the first 50 minutes, the All Blacks made the most of a lineout turnover achieved by Read to unleash the ball and it was a scything break by Barrett to leave wing Ben Smith free to score in his 50th Test.

Then, from the restart halfback Aaron Smith broke from the ruck where fullback Israel Dagg had secured the ball, and finding space he kicked deep and as Dan Biggar tried to tidy five metres out from the line, the fast following All Blacks held him up to win the scrum feed.

A dynamic All Blacks scrum which had won a penalty saw Read flick the ball to Smith and he got it to Barrett who pierced Roberts and Davies to score under the bar.



Five minutes later wing Waisake Naholo was in after another demonstration of scrum control was provided by Read, who picked up the ball from a five-metre scrum, went blind and popped the ball to Aaron Smith who was able to ensure Naholo the easiest of run-ins to score.

Then in the 65th minute, a poor Welsh throw at an attacking lineout saw the ball secured by hooker Dane Coles who linked with replacement flanker Ardie Savea, and after a ruck the ball was kicked to the flank, inaccurately by second five-eighths Ryan Crotty. Naholo linked with Jerome Kaino and replacement halfback TJ Perenara who found Savea on hand and free to race 30m to score.

Halfback Smith's crab-like run across field from a five-metre lineout on Wales' line created the space for the first All Blacks try 15 minutes into the game.

From a penalty which resulted in a five-metre lineout, Smith's move saw a long pass across the goalmouth to centre Malakai Fekitoa who was able to set Dagg up for the chance with the Welsh defence significantly reduced.

Wales showed their intent to try and score tries five minutes out from halftime when they tried to set up a lineout five metres from the All Blacks line. But in throwing to the front the allowed the All Blacks pack to drive them over the sideline.

But another chance, from a lineout on the 22m after a long clearing kick was ruled to have been made after the ball had been turned over outside the 22m line. Wales took the chance with centre Jonathan Davies breaking through. Wing Hallam Amos went close on the right, then when the ball was quickly cleared left lock Alun Wyn-Jones was on the touchline to accept a wide pass and score. Biggar added a superb conversion from the sideline.

Fekitoa was forced to leave the field in only the second minute of the game after a head knock with Welsh second five-eighths Jamie Roberts he returned sporting a head bandage before a 32nd minute injury saw play delayed as Cruden was attended to after he appeared to suffer a neck injury in a tackle.

There were consolation tries for wing Liam Williams in the 73rd minute after a strong run and then an intercept of an attempted kick by replacement centre Seta Tamanivalu by Roberts resulted in a 76th minute try to Davies, but if there was a star addition to the Wales side it was fullback Rhys Patcehell

Scorers: New Zealand 36 (Israel Dagg, Ben Smith, Beauden Barrett, Waisake Naholo, Ardie Savea tries; Aaron Cruden con, pen; Barrett 3 con) Wales 22 (Alun Wyn-Jones, Liam Williams, Jonathan Davies tries; Dan Biggar 2 con, pen). HT: 10-10