All Blacks continue 2021 development in Cardiff

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Coach Ian Foster said Jordan's second-half effort demonstrated that, especially his solo try, his 16th in 11 Tests and his more physical play.


"He's making some really good progress, I was delighted with him," he said.


"He's new to the All Blacks. I know he's scored a lot of tries. Admittedly, some of those were against softer opposition, but if you looked at his game, he's been progressing.


"In the South African game he learnt a little bit about what it's like in those big Tests and the physical side, and the decision-making side and we've challenged him in that space and I thought he came back really strong," he said.


The game was another where the All Blacks' fitness told in the latter stages of the game.


"I thought the first 50 minutes they [Wales] were competitive. They played with a lot of passion, they held the ball like we expected them to, ran hard, but I thought our defence was outstanding.


"We were disciplined and put them under pressure and then once we started to pick up a few turnovers and force a few weak kicks we started to get the opportunities we were looking for," he said.



Wales were a side that squeezed opponents a lot, but he was delighted with the All Blacks' composure to play through that.


Several new players had been given their first exposure to rugby in the northern hemisphere where things didn't always go your way and teams knew how to pressure you, and they had been put under pressure by Wales, he said.


First five-eighths Beauden Barrett was awarded the man of the match in his 100th Test and celebrated with two intercept tries.


"I thought he was strong," Foster said.


"He did what he does, and I know it's an eternal debate back home. We've got two, if not three, outstanding 10s [first five-eighths], but I think the focus should be on Beaudy right now. His 100th game and, you probably couldn't script it better in many ways when you're playing your 100th, and you get the opportunity to show some of your skill sets.


"He guided us through a tense time because you are always going to get that when you come up here in that first 40-50 minutes, and I couldn't be more proud of his game," he said.


Barrett could defend two spaces because of his ability to run fast and be incisive, something Foster felt was his greatest quality.


Barrett was also part of the side's strong leadership group who ensured they had the right balance off the park. But they also made sure they had the right plan going on to the park.




"When they go out they own the game. They've been partly architectural in designing it and, I think, you see that with him, he's in control. I think to play in his 100th in a pretty special stadium like this was pretty cool," he said.


Foster said it didn't matter whether Ardie Savea was playing flanker or No8 he just wanted him on the field.


"I love the debate about seven or eight, because I have it myself. What we enjoy about him at eight is we feel he can get his hands on the ball a bit more. We haven't always seen that this year, but I think we saw it tonight. He followed up the second South Africa Test where he was strong and I thought he backed that up again," he said.


Foster said it didn't seem that lock Brodie Retallick's injury, which was just below his shoulder, was too serious.


Captain Sam Whitelock said he was happy with the performance. It felt like they had control early, something helped by Beauden Barrett's first intercept try three minutes into the game.


Wales coach Wayne Pivac was disappointed with the first intercept try scored by Beauden Barrett and, then, when Wales got back to 16-28 down going into the final quarter, he felt they were in a position to push on but conceded a silly penalty and it was game over from that point, he said.


The last 20 minutes had shown the difference in fitness levels between the sides, and it reflected the All Blacks had been on the road for two months while Wales had come off a handful of club games.


However, he did say, "The performance today will definitely have helped us on the road to 2023."


The effort of flanker Taine Basham was an example. He had been Pivac's Welsh player of the game who would benefit from the experience while his confidence would be higher.



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