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Saturday, 23 November, 2002, 16:43 GMT
All Black flair flattens Wales
Andrew Mehrtens and Rhys Williams
Mehrtens' kicking put New Zealand in control
Wales 17-43 New Zealand



Four second-half tries including, a brace from Doug Howlett, saw New Zealand to their first win in the Millennium Stadium.

Wales had hung on gamely to an early lead after Jamie Robinson's breakaway try as they sought their first win over the men in black since 1953.

  Match details:
Wales
Try: J Robinson, Pen
Cons: S Jones
Pen: Jones
New Zealand
Tries: D Howlett (2), K Meeuws, R King
Cons: A Mehrtens (4)
Pens: Mehrtens (5)
The visitors' pressure was relentless, though, as they sought to play an expansive game on a pitch that would have shamed a farm yard.

Andrew Mehrtens kicked 23 points to put his team in command and the lethal finishing of the back line did the rest.

The All Blacks exploded out of the blocks, determined not to return home from tour without a win to their names.

Doug Howlett
Howlett crossed for two tries
Howlett nearly grounded a Ben Blair grubber kick, and from the resulting line-out a dynamic drive from the visitors was barely foiled as Colin Charvis got underneath Ali Williams.

New Zealand were looking slick in the backs, but when a 12th-minute move broke down in midfield Stephen Jones was on hand to hack forward.

The ball flew downfield to stick in the Millennium Stadium's muddy in-goal area, where flying centre Jamie Robinson gleefully touched down for the first try. Jones converted from the touch line.

The speedy, creative New Zealand three-quarters probed at the Wales defence, but the hard-working forwards and pacy backs of the men in red held the line.

The Blacks had to rely on Mehrtens' trusty right boot and he duly delivered two more penalties, leaving the half-time score at 10-9.

The relentless pressure on the Welsh defence continued in the second period.

The home side were struggling to win possession, but in the scrum they had their inexperienced opposition in all sorts of trouble.

Then in the 58th minute came the All Blacks explosion that had been threatening all game.

Quick ball reached Doug Howlett whose electrifying power and pace blasted him past Jamie Robinson.

Sonny Parker
Parker was on the losing side against his native New Zealand
He fed inside to Tana Umaga who was hauled down by Sonny Parker, but not before he fed a suspiciously forward pass back to Howlett. The crowd howled, but the score stood.

Wales brought on Iestyn Harris for Jones and the former rugby league man added an extra dimension to the home side's play.

They fired back at the All Blacks and were given hope when the Kiwis kicked the ball from an attacking 79th-minute scrum, resulting in a penalty try.

Wales were just five points behind, but back came the All Blacks. An Umaga kick was gathered by Howlett who flew in for his second.

There were still eight minutes to go, but it was all New Zealand as the tiring Welsh defence finally folded.

Replacement prop Kees Meeuws crossed under the posts, and with the last move of the game man-of-the-match Howlett fed impressive centre Regan King to round off a thrilling attacking movement.


Wales: R Williams (Cardiff); M Jones (Llanelli), J Robinson (Cardiff), S Parker (Pontypridd), G Thomas (Bridgend); S Jones (Llanelli), D Peel (Llanelli); I Thomas (Llanelli), R McBryde (Llanelli), B Evans (Swansea), R Sidoli (Pontypridd), G Llewellyn (Neath), D Jones (Llanelli), M Williams (Cardiff), C Charvis (Swansea, capt).
Replacements: M Davies (Pontypridd), G Jenkins (Pontypridd), M Owen (Pontypridd), R Parks (Pontypridd), R Powell (Cardiff), I Harris (Cardiff), D James (Bridgend).

New Zealand: B Blair; D Howlett, R King, T Umaga, J Lomu; A Mehrtens, S Devine; T Woodcock, K Mealamu, C Hayman, K Robinson, A Williams, T Randell (capt), D Braid, R So'oialo.
Replacements: A Hore, K Meeuws, B Mika, M Holah, D Lee, P Steinmetz, M Robinson.

Ref: Tappe Henning (South Africa)

Att: 72,500

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Wales captain Colin Charvis
"New Zealand showed how to play the game for 80 minutes"
New Zealand fly-half Andrew Mehrtens
"We haven't often been able to get momentum"
 NOV 23-24 TESTS
 ENGLAND 53-3 SA
 WALES 17-43 NZ
 IRELAND 16-7 ARG
 FRANCE 35-3 CANADA
 ITALY 3-34 AUSTRALIA
 SCOTLAND V FIJI

Wales play four Tests against Romania, Fiji, Canada and New Zealand

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23 Nov 02 | International
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