All Blacks ready for 'big league' after testing Welsh workout
New Zealand 29 Wales 10
Monday 28 June 2010
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).
Manchester United can learn lessons from the transfer template of rivals Manchester City
Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea top the list of the Premier League's most expensive squads
Harry Kane: Tottenham striker confident of rediscovering goal-scoring form after chat with Alan Shearer
Cyprus vs Wales match report: Gareth Bale's bullet header has Welsh on brink of Euro 2016
Bayern Munich 'training camp' to supply refugees with food, footballs and German lessons
- 3 Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
- 4 Refugee crisis: Aylan's life was full of fear - in death, he is part of 'humanity washed ashore'
- 5 German police forced to ask public to stop bringing donations for refugees arriving by train
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 100,000 back our campaign
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up