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Last Updated: Saturday, 25 November 2006, 18:46 GMT
Wales 10-45 New Zealand
Jon Thomas tries to stop All Blacks hat-trick wing Sitiveni Sivivatu
Jon Thomas tries to stop All Blacks hat-trick wing Sitiveni Sivivatu

Wales 10 (3)
Tries: M Williams.
Cons: Hook.
Pens: S Jones.

New Zealand 45 (28)
Tries: McAlister, Sivivatu 3, Penalty try.
Cons: Carter 2, Evans 2.
Pens: Carter 4.

New Zealand finished their November tour with victory over a gritty Wales at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.

Luke McAlister set the All Blacks on their way with the opening try after just four minutes, with wing Sitiveni Sivivatu adding a fine hat-trick.

Wales caused the All Blacks as many problems as England or France had, but still finished a distance behind.

The home side did claim a deserved try from Martyn Williams, but the All Blacks moved away with a penalty try.

In an unprecedented escape from tradition, the fans were denied the sight of the haka being performed live because of a spat over the order of performances of national pride.

Wales were determined to sing Hen Wlad fy Nhadau after the haka, but the All Blacks were having none of it and opted to perform it privately in the dressing room.

If a packed Millennium Stadium was disappointed to miss out on that, the fans were soon treated to an early try - if that is the right word for the red-shirted majority.

Stephen Jones missed touch and New Zealand launched a swift counter-attack that swept from right to left flank, allowing Sivivatu's inside pass to send centre McAlister over.

The squad has realised there is another degree of intensity and physicality that we have to develop

Wales coach Gareth Jenkins

Fly-half Dan Carter added the conversion and followed that up with three penalties to give the All Blacks a 16-0 lead with a quarter of the match gone.

The penalties Wales conceded were a sign of the pressure they were under, unable to make headway against fierce defence and creaking when New Zealand had the ball.

At last Wales managed to put New Zealand under pressure, some clever off-loading in contact carving into the visitors' 22.

Skulduggery in a ruck eventually brought the move to an end, but referee Dave Pearson had spotted All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw's infringement and awarded the penalty.

The flanker escaped with a lecture and Stephen Jones kicked the three points to get Wales on the scoreboard.

Wales looked like they would create another opportunity when Carter had a kick charged down, but the All Blacks defence swarmed over the danger.

Hooker Rhys Thomas could not take a pass under pressure and Carter was on hand to scoop the loose ball and race away downfield.

Great work from New Zealand lock Ali Williams and hooker Anton Oliver punched the move forward, giving Sivivatu a one-on-one against Tom Shanklin.

Richie McCaw's sin-binning failed to halt New Zealand's drive
Richie McCaw's sin-binning failed to halt New Zealand's drive

The flying winger gave Shanklin no chance, a shimmy and burst of pace sending Sivivatu over from five metres for another seven-pointer.

The Chiefs wing added his second before the break, cutting a beautiful inside line after another irresistible counter-attack had caught Wales out.

The only surprise was that Carter missed the simple conversion, proving he is fallible if only sometimes.

Normal service was resumed within four minutes of the restart as Carter struck his fourth penalty of the evening, although he was again wide with a similar attempt soon after.

Wales coach Gareth Jenkins had seen enough and James Hook, Alix Popham and Gethin Jenkins all arrived off the bench for Shanklin, Ryan Jones and Duncan Jones.

But Jenkins' opposite number Graham Henry added fresh legs to his own side and the pattern of All Blacks dominance continued.

A chink of light came when McCaw was sin-binned for one infringement too many and Wales laid siege to the Kiwi line from a series of five-metre line-outs and drives.

Patience paid off and Martyn Williams was shunted over the try line, with Hook taking over the kicking duties to stroke the conversion.

But all the hard work was undone as Popham left a hole in the Wales defence that allowed Nick Evans, on for Carter, to burst through and send Sivivatu under the posts for his hat-trick.

Evans added the easy extras for a 38-10 All Blacks lead with 15 minutes left on the match clock.

Andrew Hore became the second All Black to be shown a yellow card, after McCaw had returned to the action, but this time it made little difference.

Rico Gear cut back inside to be stopped just short of the try line, but Wales killed the ball in desperation and referee Pearson awarded a penalty try.

Evans' conversion made it 45-10 and ensured Wales continue their 53-year wait for another victory over New Zealand.

Wales: Kevin Morgan; Mark Jones, Tom Shanklin, Sonny Parker, Shane Williams; Stephen Jones (capt), Dwayne Peel; Duncan Jones, Rhys Thomas, Adam Jones, Ian Evans, Ian Gough, Jonathan Thomas, Martyn Williams, Ryan Jones.
Replacements: Mathew Rees for R. Thomas (72), Gethin Jenkins for D. Jones (46), Alun Wyn Jones for Evans (55), Alix Popham for R. Jones (46), Mike Phillips for Peel (60), James Hook for Shanklin (46), Gavin Henson for Parker (72).

New Zealand: Mils Muliaina; Rico Gear, Conrad Smith, Luke McAlister, Sitiveni Sivivatu; Dan Carter, Byron Kelleher; Neemia Tialata, Anton Oliver, Carl Hayman, Keith Robinson, Ali Williams, Jerry Collins, Richie McCaw (capt), Rodney So'oialo.
Replacements: Andrew Hore for Oliver (48), Tony Woodcock for Tialata (35), James Ryan for Williams (61), Reuben Thorne for So'oialo (61), Piri Weepu for Kelleher (48), Nick Evans for Carter (61), Ma'a Nonu for Sivivatu (75).

Sin bin: McCaw (56), Hore (71).

Referee: Dave Pearson (Eng).

Att: 75,000.

Wales v New Zealand statistics
25 Nov 06 |  Rugby Union


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