All Blacks ready for 'big league' after testing Welsh workout

New Zealand 29 Wales 10

The All Blacks should know everything they need to know about pride going before a fall, having landed splat on their silver-ferned posteriors at every World Cup since winning the first in 1987. But with the entire country turning its collective mind towards next year's global gathering on home soil, are the national team flirting with presumptions of greatness once again?

Steve Hansen, one of their senior coaches, seems to think so. After his side stumbled to victory over a rookie Welsh side, he said: "We can step up into the big boys' league now, and we can go in with some confidence if we keep things smart and simple and people do their jobs."

Big boys' league? By that, he meant the forthcoming Tri-Nations featuring Australia and South Africa. By implication , he also meant that Ireland and Wales were small by comparison. Given the way the Welsh made their hosts suffer at the set piece, it was an interesting put-down. With Daniel Carter kicking points in his sleep and the wing Cory Jane always a threat, the All Blacks stayed in control but the energy Wales brought to their work late on was something to behold and led to a Jamie Roberts try.

Unfortunately Lee Byrne, who late in the first half tipped over Tom Donnelly and saw Wales slip from 3-10 to 3-19 during his time in the sin bin, failed to gather Aaron Cruden's toe-poke towards the line, allowing the sub outside-half to claim his first Test try. "I'm pretty gutted about that last score," confessed the Wales coach, Warren Gatland. "One try apiece and 22-10? We'd have been happy with that. It was a step forward, the players showed real pride."

New Zealand: Tries Jane, Cruden; Conversions Carter, Weepu; Penalties Carter 5. Wales: Try Roberts; Conversion S Jones; Penalty Halfpenny.

New Zealand M Muliaina; C Jane, R Kahui, B Stanley, Z Guildford; D Carter, J Cowan; T Woodcock, K Mealamu, N Tialata, B Thorn, T Donnelly, J Kaino, R McCaw, K Read. Replacements O Franks for Woodcock, 22-27 and for Tialata, 55; P Weepu for Cowan, 48; A Thompson for Donnelly, 48; R Ranger for Stanley, 55; Tialata for Woodcock 57-60; S Whitelock for Read 65; A De Malmanche for Mealamu 74; A Cruden for Carter 74.

Wales L Byrne; L Halfpenny, J Davies, J Roberts, T Prydie; D Biggar, M Phillips; P James, M Rees, A Jones, B Davies, A W Jones, J Thomas, G Thomas, R Jones.Replacements R McCusker for R Jones, 27; D Jones for Davies, 57; C Mitchell for A Jones, 65; S Jones for Biggar, 67; R Rees for Phillips, 69; H Bennett for M Rees, 69; W Harries for Prydie, 72.

Referee J Kaplan (South Africa).

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

Solved after 200 years

The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

Sunken sub

Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

Age of the selfie

Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

Not so square

How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

Still carrying the torch

The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

...but history suggests otherwise
The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

The bald truth

How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

Tour de France 2015

Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

A new beginning for supersonic flight?

Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash
I would never quit Labour, says Liz Kendall

I would never quit party, says Liz Kendall

Latest on the Labour leadership contest
Froome seals second Tour de France victory

Never mind Pinot, it’s bubbly for Froome

Second Tour de France victory all but sealed
Oh really? How the 'lowest form of wit' makes people brighter and more creative

The uses of sarcasm

'Lowest form of wit' actually makes people brighter and more creative
A magazine editor with no vanity, and lots of flair

No vanity, but lots of flair

A tribute to the magazine editor Ingrid Sischy
Foraging: How the British rediscovered their taste for chasing after wild food

In praise of foraging

How the British rediscovered their taste for wild food