Aaron Cruden of New Zealand kicks a penalty during their
international rugby union match against Wales at the
Millenium Stadium in Cardiff. Photo by Reuters
World champions New Zealand overwhelmed Wales 33-10 in
the third international of their November tour with replacement
flyhalf Aaron Cruden giving an immaculate display of place
Cruden, a late substitute for Dan Carter who withdrew on
Friday with a leg injury, kicked four penalties and three
conversions to leave the Millennium stadium with a 100
The win extended the All Blacks' unbeaten record to 20 while
Wales, who completed a third Six Nations grand slam in seven
years last March, have now lost their last six games in a
Saturday's match was effectively over at halftime when the
All Blacks led 23-0 although Wales, after slumping to defeats
by Argentina and Samoa in their opening two November tests,
at least showed some fight in the second half with two tries
to New Zealand's one.
Flyhalf Rhys Priestland, one of several Welsh players who
have failed to recapture the form they showed at the last Six
Nations championship, tested the New Zealand defence against
the high ball with his first kick of the game, hoisting a
punt which left wing Julian Savea spilled forward.
From the resulting scrum Wales won a penalty within kickable
distance but surprisingly decided to kick for touch. New
Zealand cleared and Wales spurned another penalty within
range which Priestland unforgivably wasted by kicking the
The All Blacks regrouped, surged into Welsh territory and
Cruden kicked his first penalty of the match in the ninth
minute. Two more equally composed efforts followed in the
next 15 minutes to put New Zealand 9-0 ahead.
Messam's try in the 25th came from a couple of sublime
touches by Savea, who more than atoned for his early mistake.
Savea leaped high in an attempt to grasp another Priestland
up-and-under and tipped the ball back to Israel Dagg.
The fullback cut through the Welsh defence and hurled a low,
fast pass back to Savea who stooped to snap up the ball
safely and hurtled towards the corner.
When the move broke down the ball was quickly recycled right
with Messam in the clear to saunter over the line.
A promising move by the Welsh, with centre Jonathan Davies
combining with left wing Liam Williams to scythe through the
All Blacks' defence, came to nothing.
Prop Paul James knocked on the simplest of catches but Wales
had already won a penalty which Priestland promptly
squandered by kicking the ball dead for a second time.
On the stroke of halftime, New Zealand scored a second
well-constructed try with a replica of the move which gave
them their only try of last year's World Cup final.
Sam Whitelock soared high in the lineout and prop Tony
Woodcock, as he had in the one-point win over the French at
Auckland's Eden Park, thundered through a gap to score.
New Zealand went straight back on the attack in the second
half with Cruden kicking his fourth penalty in the 41st and
lock Luke Romano scoring his first international try seven
minutes later when he powered through an attempted tackle by
right wing Alex Cuthbert.
Wales gave their supporters something to cheer at last when
they won their lineout on the New Zealand line and the entire
Welsh XV joined the shove which sent replacement centre Scott
Williams over the line for a try. Cuthbert scored a second
four minutes from time in the right hand corner.
Williams had taken over from the injured Jamie Roberts in a
bleak period for the Welsh in the first half during which
they also lost lock Bradley Davies and prop Aaron Jarvis, who
was taken off on a stretcher, to injuries.
Davies had collapsed on the ground after a stiff arm tackle
to the neck from All Blacks' hooker Andrew Hore in the
opening exchanges which incensed the crowd but appeared to go
unnoticed by South African referee Craig Joubert or his
Joubert did, though, send Corey Jane to the sin-bin for a
deliberate knock-on by the New Zealand right wing midway
through the second half.