New Zealand take on Wales today at the heart of Welsh Rugby, in Cardiff at the Principality Stadium. Both sides will kick off their Autumn nations campaigns with the All Blacks taking on Northern Hemisphere rugby. Coming into this fixture, it has to be said that Wales’ chances of winning are slim. Not only do New Zealand have a fully strengthened side, but Wales’ manager Wayne Pivac has had 20 players drop out of being selected through injury, unavailability and Covid-19 issues. Furthermore, they have their starting Hooker, Ken Owens, pulling out of the match with a back injury.
New Zealand however, have full strength in their squad as they go into this fixture, with their starting Fly Half Beauden Barrett making his 100th test match appearance. The last time these two sides played each other was in the 2019 Rugby World Cup play offs for 3rd place. In that match New Zealand won 40-17 and it has been 68 years since Wales last beat the All Blacks. Will Wales win today and break the winning drought against New Zealand? Or will the All Blacks breeze past the challenge of Wales in Cardiff? Oliver Jeffery will be taking you through the action as it happens.
Lets have a look at both teams to see how they match up.
And we’re off…
4′ TRY Beauden Barrett After many strong carries from the All Blacks in the Welsh 22, New Zealand score early as Welsh fly half Gareth Anscombe throws a pass which is collected by his opposite man Beauden Barrett, who then runs it in for the first score of the day. The try is then converted by his brother Jordie Barrett and New Zealand are off to a flyer as their main man scores on his 100th game.
6′ PENALTY Gareth Anscombe Despite a rocky start for Wales, they respond well as flanker Taine Basham wins a turnover penalty for Wales in the New Zealand half. A good steal for the flanker making his first start, followed by Anscombe getting Wales on the board as he slots over the conversion kick with ease.
11′ It’s all happening now as both teams keep stealing possession and counter attacking with the net result being Owen Lane tearing down the wing for Wales but as he tries offload the ball, Beauden Barrett knocks the ball on. The knock on is then reviewed by the TMO to see if it was deliberate but it is deemed to just be a penalty.
17′ In what has been an electric couple of minutes with the atmosphere at the Principality Stadium being immense, Josh Adams prevents Rieko Ioane’s chip across the try line and dots it down for a 22 drop-out. Ioane seemed to be certain to score then but Adams did very well to sprint and save his team.
18′ PENALTY Jordie Barrett After sustained pressure from New Zealand in the Welsh 22, they are eventually awarded a penalty as Aaron Wainwright fails to roll out of the ruck. Jordie Barrett converts the penalty giving the All Blacks a further lead as the score is 10-3.
22′ Despite doing everything right so far in this game, Jordie Barrett goes to take a penalty from the half way line. Even though it did have the distance, it just goes wide. An ambitious chance goes beckoning but we’ve seen Jordie get those before.
26′ PENALTY Jordie Barrett After winning a penalty from a collision in the air between Josh Adams and Jordie Barrett, New Zealand kick the ball into touch within the Welsh 22. Ardie Savea runs though the tackles of many Welsh players and many phases later the All Blacks look to have scored through Nepo Laulala, but after review the ball is shown to have been dropped. However, New Zealand have a penalty just in front of the posts and Jordie Barrett slots it over to make it 13-3.
29′ After Wales concede yet another scrum penalty, this time from Wyn Jones, Wales are pinned back into their 22 again as New Zealand look to attack. So far, Wales are finding it very hard to break out from their own half and get into scoring opportunities but the All Blacks are playing such a clever game.
34′ TRY TJ Perenara TJ Perenara gets passed the ball from an offload by Ardie Savea, who is so powerful tonight, to dive over at short distance as New Zealand score their second. Unfortunately for them the conversion is missed but the All Blacks lead 18-3 as New Zealand dominate.
39′ SIN-BIN Nepo Laulala It’s a nightmare for Nepo Laulala as he injures Ross Moriarty with a tackle to the head. Moriarty lays down to get some treatment when there is a pause in play and the TMO checks the challenge. Despite Wales already losing 20 players before this match, as well as their captain Alun Wyn Jones a few moments ago, they are forced to replace yet another player from the field. Things look shaky for Wales as Laulala goes to the sin-bin.
40′ Wales win a penalty in the New Zealand half and Anscombe slots it over to make it 18-6 with the clock in the red for half time. Wales look to be struggling very much with all the experienced players they are loosing, meanwhile, New Zealand are pinning them back and are getting points on the board. Let’s see what the second half has to offer as the All Blacks lead at half time
45′ A few minutes after starting the second half, All Blacks player Will Jordan catches a kick from Wales and counters, making his way into the Welsh half. Followed by a few more kicks in what has shown to be a very kick based game, New Zealand win a penalty on Wales’ 10 metre line.
46′ PENALTY Jordie Barrett Jordie shows how much of a boot he has got on him as he slots the kick right in between the sticks from just inside the Welsh half. The fans in the Principality Stadium seem to have become very quite all of a sudden.
52′ PENALTY Rhys Priestland Rhys Priestland comes onto the pitch to replace Anscombe and immediately makes his statement on the game as he kicks over a simple penalty to get Wales’ first points of the second half. Wales are showing a good attacking basis so far in this second half but they need tries to get back into this game. The score is now 21-9 to New Zealand.
55′ TRY Will Jordan After Wales’ penalty, New Zealand are immediately on the attack as Will Jordan sprints down the wing and chips it over the covering defenders to then speed up and score an amazing try. Jordie Barrett then converts it from out wide but what an amazing piece of individual brilliance by Jordan as New Zealand already seem to have put this game to bed.
61′ TRY Johnny Williams Priestland kicks a penalty to the corner, showing good intent to get some larger points on the board to get back into this game. After Wales’ initial driving maul is defused by New Zealand illegally, Priestland kicks the ball behind the All Blacks defence as Johnny Williams dots it down to score as the crowd errupt. Rhys Priestland is making an immense impact since coming on as the score is 28-16 to New Zealand with 19 minutes left.
63′ TRY Dalton Papalii And just when you think Wales are getting back into it, the All Blacks shut them out yet again. Off of the back of a New Zealand line out, Dalton Papalii peels off and breaks a tackle to go over to score another try. Jordie kicks the conversion over and New Zealand now lead 35-16.
66′ TRY Sevu Reece The All Blacks are on fire as they score two tries in two minutes. After some slick quick offloading, Sevu Reece goes into the corner to score New Zealand’s fifth try this evening as we approach the final 10 minutes. The atmosphere has gone quite yet again in the Principality Stadium as Wales’ comeback is brushed aside.
71′ TRY Anton Lienert-Brown It’s becoming too much for Wales as Beauden Barrett fakes a pass but then pops it to Rieko Ioane. The ball is then passed all the way along to the right wing where Anton Lienert-Brown touches down in the corner. Jordie Barrett’s kick is successful from the right touchline and now New Zealand lead 49-16.
79′ TRY Beauden Barrett Barrett hammers home the final points of the game with his second score just after being made Man of the Match. As Johnny McNicholl runs down the left wing he tries to pass the ball to Josh Adams but Barrett reads it and jets off down the right wing to secure yet another intercept score.
80′ It’s the end here in a miserable Cardiff as Jordie Barrett’s conversion kick hits the post and the whistle is blown as New Zealand beat Wales 54-16 in what was a tough game for the Welsh given all the set backs they had. None the less, the All Blacks displayed a strong passionate performance with every player on the pitch showing immense skill no matter what their position. Lots of things for Wales to think about, however, New Zealand will feel very confident as they progress in their Autumn nations campaign.