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Last Updated: Saturday, 5 November 2005, 17:54 GMT
Wales 3-41 New Zealand
Rico Gear celebrates his hat-trick
Wales (3) 3
Pen: S Jones
New Zealand (13) 41
Tries: Gear (3), Carter (2)
Cons: Carter (5)
Pens: Carter (2)
Att: 74,402
Tri Nations kings New Zealand opened their grand slam tour with a ruthless win over Six Nations champions Wales.

An expectant Cardiff crowd's hopes were shattered as the All Blacks destroyed Wales' set piece and breakdown game.

Rico Gear profited from Welsh mistakes for the opening two tries, and the electric wing's 48th minute hat-trick score left the result beyond doubt.

The flawless Dan Carter added two tries and 26 points in a 100% kicking show, a Stephen Jones kick Wales' only reply.

After the over-blown theatrics of the pre-match entertainment to celebrate the 100th year of competition between the two nations, New Zealand got down to the dirty business.

Booing Umaga was uncalled for
NZ coach Graham Henry
Edging Wales back in the scrum and disrupting their line-out, the visitors dominated territory and opened the scoring with a Carter penalty.

They should have added a try when Byron Kelleher took a tap penalty from half-way and burst through with the line at his mercy.

The scrum-half failed to give Tana Umaga the scoring pass, though, and was cut down by Wales captain Gareth Thomas.

Gareth Thomas
Gareth Thomas' efforts were in vain
Carter landed a second penalty awarded from the resultant ruck, but Stephen Jones replied for Wales from a position set up by a fine run from Thomas.

The All Blacks' pressure increased as Ceri Sweeney turned over ball in the opposition half, before Wales lost the resultant line-out in their own 22.

New Zealand spread the ball slickly across the back line, Mils Muliaina sending Gear in at the corner for the opening try.

Wales held out until half-time, but as they were forced to commit extra numbers to the breakdown just to secure possession their attacks proved ineffectual.

We expected a struggle to get our game together, but didn't expect that
Wales coach Mike Ruddock
Just three minutes after the break Shane Williams was isolated on the floor deep in his own half and lost the ball, Carter throwing a dummy to give Gear the space to shimmy in past a despairing Thomas.

Wales' penalty count mounted, and from a New Zealand kick to the corner another slick handling move sent Gear sliding in at the corner for his hat-trick score.

Wales' woes increased as inspirational skipper Thomas injured his leg in another try-saving tackle on Kelleher.

Scarlets back Lee Byrne took his place, joining Worcester prop Chris Horsman in winning his first Wales cap.

Horsman made an impact in the scrums, but New Zealand's confidence remained supreme.

Excellent off-loading in contact by the backs gave Carter half a yard, and the fly-half brushed off a weak Sweeney tackle for the fourth try.

With just two minutes to go, a Ma'a Nonu break and Conrad Smith chip through fell fortunately for Carter for his second try.

The comprehensive scoreline underlined the dominance the All Blacks have held in this fixture for the past half century, as Wales' eight-match winning streak came to an abrupt end.


Wales: G Thomas; Morgan, Taylor, Sweeney, S Williams; S Jones, Phillips; D Jones, Davies, A Jones; Cockbain, Sidoli; J Thomas, Charvis, Owen.
Replacements: Byrne for G. Thomas (58), Robinson for Sweeney (69), Cooper for Phillips (49), R. Thomas for Davies (62), Horsman for A. Jones (46), Charteris for Cockbain (63), Sowden-Taylor for Charvis (69).

New Zealand: Muliaina; Gear, Smith, Umaga, Rokocoko; Carter, Kelleher; Tialata, Oliver, Hayman; Jack, Ryan; Collins, Masoe, So'oialo.
Replacements: L. MacDonald for Muliaina (73), Cowan for Kelleher (69), Woodcock for Tialata (52), Hore for Oliver (66), McCaw for Masoe (66). Not Used: A. MacDonald, Nonu.

Referee: Chris White (England).




WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: Wales coach Mike Ruddock


Interview: New Zealand coach Graham Henry


Interview: All Blacks captain Tana Umaga & Chris Jack


Interview: Wales assistant coach Scott Johnson



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