All Blacks beat Wales to end tour unbeaten

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    Steve Hansen rates Rieko Ioane among the finest young talents he’s seen after his All Blacks ended the year on a winning note against Wales in Cardiff.

    The 20-year-old winger was heralded a “phenomenon” by Hansen after his injury-ravaged team saw off the belligerent hosts 33-18 on Saturday, scoring five tries to two.

    Ioane had a hand in four of them, including scoring the last two, continuing his game-breaking form from last week’s gripping defeat of Scotland.

    Hansen was thankful his young star — who is nominated in two categories at Sunday’s World Rugby awards — had shaken off an injury that looked set to rule him out of year’s final Test.

    “Thank goodness his shoulder came right, that’s all I can say,” Hansen said.

    “He’s phenomenal. If we can keep his feet on the floor he can go anywhere, that kid.

    “Every time he gets the ball, you think ‘wow, what’s going to happen?’.”

    A New Zealand team missing more than half of their first-choice lineup were outplayed for lengthy periods but resilience in defence and classy finishing proved the difference.

    They completed their European tour with a perfect five-from-five record, with Test wins also coming over France and Scotland.

    All were challenging games, with the Welsh proving physically the equal of the All Blacks, who were flattered to lead 13-12 at halftime.

    The world champions looked vulnerable entering the last 10 minutes just eight points up and missing stand-in captain Sam Whitelock, who was shown a yellow card.

    Rather than succumb to the fatigue of a long season, the All Blacks finished stronger, consigning Wales to a 30th successive defeat dating back to 1953.

    It left the All Blacks with a record of 11 wins, one draw and two losses in a year notable for the forced development of fresh face as injuries and unavailability struck Hansen’s side.

    By the half-hour mark, New Zealand had made 81 tackles to Wales’ 11.

    Despite that, they created two tries to winger Waisake Naholo in the right-hand corner and then had too much class when the game opened up in the second spell.

    Ioane’s offload set up Anton Lienert-Brown before the young winger’s brilliant late double, the first from an intercept and the second via his footwork and raw speed.

    Wales scored through centre Scott Williams and halfback Gareth Davies but lacked the panache and clinical finishing needed to bust open a defence that rarely buckled.

    “You can put the best systems in the world in place but If they’re not followed through with energy and enthusiasm and accuracy then they’re not gong to work,” Hansen said.

    “We didn’t miss too many opportunities and that kept us well in the game.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (64)

    • November 26th 2017 @ 11:50am
      Highlander said | November 26th 2017 @ 11:50am | ! Report

      We need to stop people below 100kgs deciding the man of the match award.

      In an absolute gain line battle Sam Cane makes 25 tackles, misses two and still has more run metres than his two loosie mates., turns in yet another superhuman effort….and the award goes to a winger.

      Nice tries but one plus an intercept….time for some perspective in the commentary box.

      • November 26th 2017 @ 12:43pm
        Winston said | November 26th 2017 @ 12:43pm | ! Report

        Also. How good was Matt Todd

        • November 26th 2017 @ 1:00pm
          Highlander said | November 26th 2017 @ 1:00pm | ! Report

          excellent wasn’t he……..looks a long way back for ardie

          • November 26th 2017 @ 3:29pm
            Cuw said | November 26th 2017 @ 3:29pm | ! Report

            Cane shud become a 6 , i think . he plays like one anyways.

            Todd on the other hand is the traditional openside flank.

            his tackle on Faletau was just unbelievable.

            but he got deceived by the Welsh scrum half and went the wrong way when he scored.

            • November 26th 2017 @ 7:14pm
              Ben said | November 26th 2017 @ 7:14pm | ! Report

              Cane is no way a 6. He is not a lineout option and plays a good traditional modern 7 game.
              He is clearly our best 7 and all those who stated otherwise need to stick their hands up after this mornings game.

              As he pointed out, in the modern game there are less opportunities to jackal.
              The NZ 7 role changed with McCaw and he had to change his game accordingly.

              Its now everyones job to be a jackal at the breakdown and now backs are making just as many turnovers as loosies.

              Todd had to make that tackle on Faletau as it was his man and he was slow getting off the scrum so Im not sure it was that unbelievable.

              • November 26th 2017 @ 9:22pm
                Highlander said | November 26th 2017 @ 9:22pm | ! Report

                I am with you on the role of the 7 Ben, but I think you are under rating our using if Cane as a lineout option -I counted 2 vs Wales.

                He doesn’t need to be regular target just a good option, We scored in Bled 1 off a throw to Cane at the back too.

                Cane is what the new 7’s will look like under the laws.

            • November 27th 2017 @ 4:12pm
              lassitude said | November 27th 2017 @ 4:12pm | ! Report

              With the Blacks down to 14 I’d have thought Cane and Todd should have swapped sides for packing down at the scrum. Todd had to double guess which side to cover and got it wrong.

              I think the Welsh scrum half was quite smart though.

        • November 26th 2017 @ 4:26pm
          MIB2 said | November 26th 2017 @ 4:26pm | ! Report

          Todd is only adequate it is that Savea has dropped off. Wait til SR starts and with more regular play Savea will get his mojo back.

          • November 27th 2017 @ 1:08pm
            Old Bugger said | November 27th 2017 @ 1:08pm | ! Report

            I’m sure Ardie will get his mojo back in SR but, that isn’t the game where his presence, is waning. That game is test rugby and sadly, Ardie has failed to bring his SR mojo, to the test arena.

            • November 27th 2017 @ 5:40pm
              Cuw said | November 27th 2017 @ 5:40pm | ! Report

              NO Old Bugger

              i think he plays a lot like Hooper , which is not what NZ want him to do.

              with the Laws as they are the flankers have to be tight.

              i still think he could have learnt a bit in the 7S team – like Messam and SBW and Ioanes.

          • November 27th 2017 @ 8:47pm
            Shooter McGavin said | November 27th 2017 @ 8:47pm | ! Report

            Savea is a flash in the pan, when solid test rugby is required Todd is the man for the job. Don’t know how you could think anything else after watching the ABs, the lions tour would probably have tipped the abs way if Todd was fit…

      • Roar Guru

        November 26th 2017 @ 10:04pm
        The Neutral View From Sweden said | November 26th 2017 @ 10:04pm | ! Report

        I think you are downgrading that MOTM wingers performance a lot. He did well almost every single time he was involved in the play. Both on attack and defense. And he has some real edge with his speed and gis brutal upper body strength.

        As impressive as Sam Cane was, he was not the star on the field.

        Remarkable season in black by Rieko The Winger 🙂

        • November 27th 2017 @ 4:31am
          Taylorman said | November 27th 2017 @ 4:31am | ! Report

          Ha ha, I think you’re fitting perfectly into Highlanders under 100kg description. Being one myself…though no longer!

          Id have gone for Reiko as well but after watching it again, hearing the commentary and reading Highlanders comments, this was a very special performance from Cane, the sheer number and ferocity of his tackling one for rugby purists.

          • November 27th 2017 @ 9:01pm
            Cuw said | November 27th 2017 @ 9:01pm | ! Report

            you will find that the other Sam – Underhill from England – is also of the same type.

            a lot of talk was about his ability to carry the ball or act as a link.

            but i’m sure Eddie will pick him every time as long as fit.

        • November 27th 2017 @ 4:52am
          lassitude said | November 27th 2017 @ 4:52am | ! Report

          No he’s not downgrading it at all. There’s a clear observable bias when it comes to assessing the relative merits of contributions. This goes for MOTM and players of the year. The hair styles that give out the accolades seem to be seduced by the fancy stuff – so it’s pretty much always the backs or a forward who’s shone in the loose which is why only 2 tight forwards (Wood and Rettalick) have won the player of the year. The fact that Sam Whitelock has never even been in the nominated group is obscene – neither was Martin Johnson or Bakies Botha or Carl Hayman or Bismark du Plessis (equally perverse)

          In this particular game Luke Whitelock was pretty good in the first half and his brother was good for his 70 minutes but Cane was immense at the AD line and particularly around the fringes. He reminds me a bit of Ruben Kruger – and that’s no bad thing.

          • Roar Guru

            November 28th 2017 @ 4:46am
            Machpants said | November 28th 2017 @ 4:46am | ! Report

            Cane stopped Wales from winning and Ioane made sure the ABs won.

            • Roar Guru

              November 29th 2017 @ 6:52am
              taylorman said | November 29th 2017 @ 6:52am | ! Report

              Yes sums up the best of both attack and defence providing the overal solution together.

    • November 26th 2017 @ 12:36pm
      mapu said | November 26th 2017 @ 12:36pm | ! Report

      Sam Cane at the 10 minutes had made more tackles than everyone else combined.Massive effort.Matt Todd then comes on and is effective.
      I thought Wayne Barnes had one of his better games.That s a lot for me to say, but I believe he is maturing into a better ref.Great communication and even helps Sam Cane up off the ground.Not sure Ive ever seen that before, but he must of respected what he was seeing from Sam.
      Anyway a good season by our ABs in a rebuilding of depth and talent.
      On another note hats of to Scotland,I really enjoyed the last two weeks watching their team play positive rugby and a great backline moving the ball beautifully out wide.
      Chur…Cu nex year

      • November 26th 2017 @ 1:32pm
        Jerry said | November 26th 2017 @ 1:32pm | ! Report

        I didn’t think much of Barnes, to be honest.

        Very inconsistent at the breakdown and the card on Whitelock came after a warning to another player – it didn’t look bad enough to be a card on it’s own and certainly no worse than some Welsh offences in similar areas (eg half the team being offside when NZ tried a quick tap).

        • Roar Guru

          November 26th 2017 @ 2:40pm
          Jokerman said | November 26th 2017 @ 2:40pm | ! Report

          An epic game that Barnes nearly ruined.

          The Whitelock Card was harsh. Barnes scrutinised the All Black scrum when they were vulnerable, but so gentle to the Welsh when they were heading back. When the All Blacks scrum did hold up to the pressure he finds Whitelock instead. “Hands off five” would have stopped Whitelock in his tracks. It just had a feeling Barnes wanted to do it after the All Blacks survived the scrum earlier.

          Poor game by Barnes. He favoured Wales. Hansen wasn’t impressed with him. The All Blacks were sublime.

        • November 26th 2017 @ 2:44pm
          zhenry said | November 26th 2017 @ 2:44pm | ! Report

          Have to agree with you.
          No time for Wayne Barnes, the benefit of the doubt mostly goes against ABs, especially in critical situations, often overlooks opposition errors but picks up AB errors.
          I thought SamW was over ball with hands on in legal fashion, but was tipped over.
          Never forget his smiling comments to the officials after RWC 20011 AB loss. Any referee worth his salt would not have been proud of that AB/FRA game.
          My politics, but strikes me as an elitist lawyer with very little conscience.

          • November 26th 2017 @ 4:28pm
            MIB2 said | November 26th 2017 @ 4:28pm | ! Report

            I shudder every time Barnes is listed to ref.

            • November 26th 2017 @ 5:19pm
              Highlander said | November 26th 2017 @ 5:19pm | ! Report

              With Garces on the line too, the horror refereeing quinella

              • November 26th 2017 @ 5:25pm
                Cuw said | November 26th 2017 @ 5:25pm | ! Report

                at least he got a forward pass right.

                but what did u make of that penalty in1st half i think when DMac was hot on attack with Naholo , only to be called back for something that happened a while back at a ruck?

                there was no replay and just ” 3 holding back 1″ or something like that.

              • Roar Rookie

                November 26th 2017 @ 10:25pm
                Shane D said | November 26th 2017 @ 10:25pm | ! Report

                Was a call from the AR on that side. Hames cleaned a player out around the neck.

              • November 26th 2017 @ 5:44pm
                Highlander said | November 26th 2017 @ 5:44pm | ! Report

                Was Hames,, holding someone back by the neck, didn’t see it just heard Barnes call it

              • Roar Rookie

                November 26th 2017 @ 11:47pm
                Paulo said | November 26th 2017 @ 11:47pm | ! Report

                He rolled the 1 out of the ruck by his neck. Wasnt much in it and saw plenty of it during the game. And there 1 is a barrel, how else are you going to move him?

              • November 27th 2017 @ 7:17am
                rebel said | November 27th 2017 @ 7:17am | ! Report

                What I found puzzling was NZ were under advantage for a potential neck roll by a Welsh player, but because the ABs scored this bit of potential foul play was not looked at. I understand that the penalty advantage was taken, but a try should not mean this doesn’t get looked at.

              • November 27th 2017 @ 3:40pm
                Cuw said | November 27th 2017 @ 3:40pm | ! Report

                @ rebel

                dude if u wish , have a look at the first try by Naholo – then tell me if the Welsh tackler uses his arms.

                this is one huge issue i have with officiating once a try is scored. all else is ignored !!

                i said this before in another thread – the try scored by Barrett v Ireland , which was looked at from every angle – but the head tackle on Barrett by Sexton was not even mentioned.

                it is as if if there is a score then foul play is not considered. but if there is no score then foul play is punished. DUH

          • Roar Guru

            November 26th 2017 @ 8:54pm
            Jokerman said | November 26th 2017 @ 8:54pm | ! Report

            Maybe that elitist disposition takes a disdain at the All Blacks and he marks them down in some in some form of superiority for his ego “You maybe the best ever but I know best and I will bring you down with my legal precision”

            I always thought I’d have a word to him if I saw him on the street after the RWC ‘07. But what are the chances eh?! Funny enough though I did see him around the RWC ‘11 in Whangamata at a cafe where I was having a coffee. Four years later though I had chilled, and he looked pasty and lonely and I decided to leave him alone!

            No one likes injustice … not honest people anyway.

          • November 29th 2017 @ 3:22pm
            zhenry said | November 29th 2017 @ 3:22pm | ! Report

            Should be 2007. I’d like to give him a barrage of words then I might end up punching him, best keep away.

        • November 26th 2017 @ 3:01pm
          rebel said | November 26th 2017 @ 3:01pm | ! Report

          I’m with you Jerry, he communicates well but was a bit inconsistent today

        • November 26th 2017 @ 3:34pm
          Cuw said | November 26th 2017 @ 3:34pm | ! Report


          watching the Auzzy match before , it seemed Gaüzère blew up much faster than Barnes , when the defending team got their hands on the ball at the ruck.

          there were several times when A Smith was heard using choice words after welsh managed to wrestle back the ball at rucks , which looked as being turned over.

          also interesting to note was Barnes trying to be like Owens , by talking a lot. the commentary was saying he is talking like a school teacher , praising the little boys who did not do naughty things and following the Laws 🙂

          Also interesting his running commentary : ” Toby Faletau came thru the middle and got hands on the ball”. 😛

        • November 27th 2017 @ 4:38am
          Taylorman said | November 27th 2017 @ 4:38am | ! Report

          Jerry, NZ rugby owes more to Wayne Barnes than any individual on the planet. What he has done for NZ rugby you cannot put a price on.

          That one performance at Millenium in 07 changed NZ or at least All Black rugby in a way nothing else could have and I believe we would have far more losses since then had we won that one match. 🙂

          Thats why I have no qualms about any of his appointments to our matches. Hes already given us more than he can ever take away ?

          • November 27th 2017 @ 1:15pm
            Old Bugger said | November 27th 2017 @ 1:15pm | ! Report

            Yep TM and I think the common voice, is “to take the referee out of the match”. Play your game so that referee makes very little impact on your performance…….in 2007, the best performance on the paddock, was Barnes’ and the remaining 30 performers, were just the extras.

          • Roar Guru

            November 27th 2017 @ 3:51pm
            Jokerman said | November 27th 2017 @ 3:51pm | ! Report

            Good point Taylorman. The All Blacks have to play with immaculate action and discipline when he’s there.

            • Roar Guru

              November 29th 2017 @ 6:56am
              taylorman said | November 29th 2017 @ 6:56am | ! Report

              Its also that he got held up as a worst case scenario for every potential referee performance, and they extended that scenario to other areas… injury, luck etc. cover all bases, not just the opposition

    • November 26th 2017 @ 12:58pm
      James in NZ said | November 26th 2017 @ 12:58pm | ! Report

      Switching on at half time, Wales looked to be playing like the AB’s running straight and hard, both teams rush defending, doing the no look passes, one handed off loads, both sides looking likely for the intercepts etc.
      It feels like everyone is the AB’s now. Our recent advantages of intellectual property, the PI influence and shorter SH season are all gone. I’m hoping Hansen is playing rope a dope with the rugby world, resting our top guys now when maybe they don’t really need it (obvious serious injuries aside), creating false pressure, building depth, squeaking by wins giving everyone else a false sense of security. Always rebuilding. There’s no such thing as sure thing result anymore I feel, or taking your opposition too lightly. Night night 2017 AB’s.

    • November 26th 2017 @ 1:46pm
      KiwiHaydn said | November 26th 2017 @ 1:46pm | ! Report

      Good result for the ABs and the end of another successful season.

      They won everything on offer this year, though they couldn’t get the outright result against the Lions and that loss to the Wallabies still hurts.

      Used 50(!) players throughout the season and given some of the A team a much needed rest (whether they wanted it or not). Building well for 2019 if they can only kick on and up their game again. B+ overall.

    • November 26th 2017 @ 1:52pm
      zhenry said | November 26th 2017 @ 1:52pm | ! Report

      I am not interested in watching the ABs tackling for most of the match.
      I do not accept that “they couldn’t get hold of the ball”: What does that mean?

      The ABs had the ball but they either kicked it away, dropped it, made bad passes, turned it over in the tackle (not being slightly crouched and forward when running – that should be taught first thing to a prop, especially), kicking it out on the full and not being more aware of ‘space’.
      I can understand kicking over a rush defense but not if it goes straight to an opposition back sweeper, or a if you don’t have a leaping Ben Smith to take it midair. If it’s not working change it.
      The first thing ASmith did was box kick, gave it away and sustained Wales attack resulted:
      Do AB coaches ever say
      ‘hold onto the ball’,
      ‘value possession of the ball’,
      get used to having the ball,
      being patient and going for space?
      OK if the rush defence puts you off; take the tackle (not bad pass behind your cohort); especially at beginning of match, if you can’t play at speed with a rush defence slow it down, get closer together, slightly deeper and long passes, get used to having the ball and varying it, play with their rush defence, confront it, vary it.
      Hansen is not going to beat good attacking teams tackling all day.

    • November 26th 2017 @ 3:03pm
      rebel said | November 26th 2017 @ 3:03pm | ! Report

      Conner must have been up cheering for the set piece try to Ioane.

      • November 27th 2017 @ 4:34am
        Kane said | November 27th 2017 @ 4:34am | ! Report

        Excuse me rebel, The All Blacks haven’y scored a set piece try since the turn of the millennium. Every one knows that!

        • November 29th 2017 @ 3:30pm
          zhenry said | November 29th 2017 @ 3:30pm | ! Report


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