All Blacks assert authority
An imposing second-half display by New Zealand put paid to Wales' hopes of claiming their first victory over the All Blacks since 1953.
Last Updated: 09/11/09 9:23am
An imposing second-half display by New Zealand on Saturday put paid to Wales' hopes of claiming their first victory over the All Blacks since 1953.
A haul of 14 points from fly-half Dan Carter and a 56th-minute try by Andrew Hore saw the tourists to a 19-12 win in a pulsating game at the Millennium Stadium.
Stephen Jones scored all of Wales' points with four penalties but it was not enough to prevent his side slipping to their 21st successive Test defeat by the All Blacks.
Wales came out with all guns blazing, running the ball at every opportunity and dominating territory in the opening exchanges.
But it was New Zealand who put the first points on the board after 11 minutes when winger Leigh Halfpenny was caught for not releasing.
Halfpenny had seen his 45-metre penalty drift wide in seventh-minute but Dan Carter made no mistake from a similar distance to put his side 3-0 in front.
Fly-half Jones put things back on a level footing, slotting a goal of his own after Richie McCaw was penalised for playing the ball on the floor.
And Wales escaped on the 22-minute mark when the All Black forwards drove Halfpenny back over his own line after he was caught trying to run out of defence.
Scrum-half Brendon Leonard looked to have touched down but, after consulting the television match official, referee Craig Joubert ruled the ball had been knocked on.
New Zealand won the penalty though and Carter duly added the three points and, despite Wales continuing to hammer at the visitors, New Zealand began to take control at the breakdown.
Six minutes before the break though, Jones struck his second penalty to draw Wales level on 6-6 to close out an electric first half.
The All Blacks' pack began to make more of an impact after the restart and two minutes in Carter completed his penalty hat-trick to edge his side ahead.
Wales began to look as if they had lost their way somewhat and when they conceded turnover ball while threatening New Zealand's 22, they quickly found themselves 40 metres back downfield.
New Zealand piled on the pressure and in the 56th-minute they broke Wales's defence, Hore bulldozing his way over in the left corner after a powerful drive from the forwards.
Carter added the extras to take the score to 16-6 and open up a 10-point lead.
The All Blacks continued to threaten the hosts' line relentlessly but could not find a way through a stalwart Wales defence, eventually having to settle for three points courtesy of Carter.
Jones pulled a penalty back 14 minutes from time and cut the deficit to 19-12 with his fourth goal after 74 minutes to take his side within a converted try of their guests.
Wales looked to finish strongly and when Alun-Wyn Jones intercepted Cowan's pass and set off on a mighty charge down the field they looked as if they might just do it.
But the hosts had left themselves with too much to do to overturn a 46-year record of defeats against their opponents.