Carisbrook lived up to its nickname of ‘The House of Pain’ when the All Blacks inflicted a crushing second half performance on Wales to send Ryan Jones’s men crashing to a heavy 42-9 defeat in Dundin.
Wales were still in the match at halftime, keeping the All Blacks to a 15-9 lead, but there was only one team in it after the break and that was the team in black. Wales went scoreless in the second half as the All Blacks produced a superb second half effort.
Wales fell off too many tackles and gifted the All Blacks countless opportunities to counter attack as New Zealand cut loose in the second half. Richie McCaw’s men lacked their usual sharpness in the first spell but in the second half the All Blacks revealed their ruthless cutting edge to condemn Wales to another heavy loss.
Dan Carter was the chief architect of Wales’s downfall, orchestrating proceedings expertly behind the All Blacks pack. The master gave an imperious performance at No 10, gliding over for two trie.
It began so well for Wales though. They got their noses in front after the All Blacks coughed up position and Stephen Jones snapped over a drop goal to give the visitors hope.
The All Blacks lacked the sharpness from a week earlier when they cut Ireland to shreds with razor sharp attacking. In the cold night air of Dunedin McCaw’s men spilled numerous passes while Carter also missed a relatively easy penalty to get back on level terms.
Wales doubled their lead with a monster penalty from Leigh Halfpenny inside his own half but against the run of play, the All Blacks hit back ruthlessly.
From a quick tap by Jimmy Cowan off-loaded to Kevin Mealamu who drove over from close range to give Carter an easy conversion to put the All Blacks ahead for the first time of the match.
Carter nudged the All Blacks further ahead after the Welsh backs were caught off-side but at 10-6 Wales were still forcing Graham Henry’s men into basic mistakes.
Then out of nothing winger Corey Jane made Wales pay dearly for losing the ball at the breakdown. From 75m the winger sped down the touchline before stepping inside Tom Prydie and Ryan Jones to finish off emphatically.
Wales hit back immediately with Jones’s second penalty. The Scarlets fly half had a chance to chip away further at the lead just before halftime but the Wales fly half missed a penalty and drop goal attempt as the All Blacks edged the first half 15-9.
Tony Woodcock was brought on for Ben Franks to shore up the scrum and he made an instant impact when the All Blacks tight five forced Wales into a mistake at the set-piece. Carter banged over the difficult chance before lighting up the game with a devastating finish to score the All Backs’ third try.
Joe Rokocoko made the early damage, bursting through Welsh tackles at will. The All Blacks swept downfield with the Welsh defence in retreat. Carter then danced his way through the Welsh rearguard to put clear daylight between the two sides for the first time in the match.
Carter then produced a moment of magic to break Welsh hearts. He glided through the Welsh defence from halfway, leaving a wake of bodies behind him as he scored out wide. That was quickly followed by an individual effort by Richard Kahui to leave Wales deflated as the All Blacks left Carisbrook for the last time with a convincing victory.
Scorers: New Zealand: Tries: Mealamu, Jane, Carter (2), Kahui; Con: Carter (4); Pens: Carter (3)
Wales: Pens: Jones (2); Dgl: Jones
[Story by Graeme Gillespie]