Wales 10 New Zealand 45: All Blacks dance to a different beat

Controversy over haka cannot overshadow thrashing of Wales by the world's best team

A shabby spat over the New Zealand haka was the preamble to a savage secateuring of Welsh hopes by the All Blacks, the world's No 1 ranked team. Five tries by the tourists, including a hat-trick by the irrepressible wing Sitiveni Sivivatu, made for Wales's only defeat of the autumn series.

Boos rang around the stadium before kick-off as it dawned on the capacity crowd there was going to be no haka. The Wales team had wanted to respond to the traditional war-dance by singing their national anthem, a change of the normal running order which New Zealand acceded to on their 100th anniversary visit a year ago but refused to entertain again. How it got to the stage where all a bemused, unhappy crowd got was a flash of a dressing-room haka on the stadium's video screens is a question for the respective Unions to answer.

No doubt attended the brilliant All Blacks, odds-on favourites for next year's World Cup, who completed in style a tour designed to prepare them for that tournament and which had featured emphatic wins over England and France ­ twice.

"We played our best game of the tour, for 80 minutes," said Graham Henry, the New Zealand head coach. "The Welsh tried to play and we didn't get that [from France] in Paris and Lyon, and only a wee bit at Twickenham."

It is accepted wisdom not to kick to the All Blacks' back three; sadly for Wales their full-back Kevin Morgan bucked it as early as the fourth minute, when he punted the ball down the throat of Rico Gear and the wing stormed into the Welsh half. It was recycled from right to left, Wales's Tom Shanklin missed a tackle on Sivivatu and a simple scoring pass inside sent Luke McAlister to the line. Dan Carter converted for a 7-0 lead and a long evening beckoned for Wales.

New Zealand undermined themselves briefly just after the mid-point of the first half. Wales were trailing 16-3 after three Carter penalties followed by one in reply from Stephen Jones, when they transgressed at a ruck in front of their posts. Bizarrely the New Zealand captain, Richie McCaw, who kicks the ball about as often as Gavin Henson misses a hairdresser's appointment, booted it towards the corner. It went dead. McCaw had been warned by referee David Pearson to keep it clean at the breakdown. Just after that, Byron Kelleher, the All Black scrum-half, knocked on behind a line-out.

Signs of New Zealand weakness? More like crumbs of comfort for Wales. Before the interval Sivivatu had scored twice to take his remarkable strike rate to 13 tries in 12 Tests. The second of them was a counter-attack as predictable from these All Blacks as it appears to be unstoppable. Duncan Jones was turned over in midfield and McAlister and Conrad Smith ran hard and straight before Sivivatu's finish.

Wales were not playing particularly poorly. They passed and handled well, and won their line-outs. Ryan Jones at No 8 thumped his men back in the tackle. But making a tackle was very nearly an exercise in futility, such was the speed and efficacy of the New Zealand offloads.

Carter kicked a 40-metre penalty two minutes into the second half, New Zealand led 31-3, and Wales sent on Gethin Jenkins, Alix Popham and James Hook ­ notably, ahead of Henson ­ as fresh legs. Hook made a rousing incursion into the previously foreign land of the New Zealand 22 though, inevitably, Wales lost possession at a ruck. McCaw then outlived Pearson's patience, sent to the sin bin after 56 minutes for killing the ball. Against a seven-man pack, Wales produced a magnificent line-out drive after Ian Gough's catch to create a try for Martyn Williams converted by Hook.

But it was brief respite. From the restart Nick Evans, on for Carter, broke the Wales defence and handed Sivivatu his hat-trick at the posts. Evans converted and McCaw returned with Wales no better off. New Zealand's replacement hooker, Andrew Hore, was shown a yellow card but a tired Martyn Williams conceded a penalty try on 74 minutes and Evans added the conversion.

The All Blacks ended the calendar year with a record reading: played 13 Tests, won 12. Since the last Wales victory in this fixture in 1953, the All Blacks have won 19 in a row, and in a dozen meetings in the last 20 years New Zealand have averaged a smidgen under 44 points a match.

"I wouldn't say it was a nightmare, it was a lesson," said Wales's coach, Gareth Jenkins. "Sometimes it's important to get exposed so you learn your lessons. This was always going to be the game to tell us exactly where we are." Which is ninth in the world, according to the International Rugby Board.

Wales: K Morgan (Dragons); M Jones (Llanelli Scarlets), T Shanklin (Cardiff Blues), S Parker, S Williams (both Ospreys); S Jones (capt), D Peel (both Scarlets); D Jones (Ospreys), R Thomas (Blues), A Jones (Ospreys), I Gough (Dragons), I Evans, J Thomas, R Jones (all Ospreys),M Williams (Blues). Replacements: M Rees (Scarlets) for R Thomas, 71; G Jenkins (Blues) for D Jones, 46; A W Jones (Ospreys) for Evans, 55; A Popham (Scarlets) for R Jones, 46; M Phillips (Blues) for Peel, 62; J Hook (Ospreys) for Shanklin, 46; G Henson (Ospreys) for Parker,71.

New Zealand: M Muliaina (Chiefs); R Gear (Crusaders), C Smith (Hurricanes), L McAlister (Blues), S Sivivatu (Chiefs); D Carter (Crusaders), B Kelleher (Chiefs); N Tialata (Hurricanes), A Oliver, C Hayman (both Highlanders), K Robinson (Chiefs), A Williams (Blues), J Collins, R So'oialo (both Hurricanes), R McCaw (Crusaders, capt). Replacements: A Hore (Hurricanes) for Oliver, 48; T Woodcock (Blues) for Tialata, 34; J Ryan (Highlanders) for A Williams, 62; R Thorne (Crusaders) for So'oialo, 62; P Weepu (Hurricanes) for Kelleher, 48; N Evans (Highlanders) for Carter, 62; M Nonu (Hurricanes) for Sivivatu, 75.

Referee: D Pearson (England).

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
football
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering