Wales welcome New Zealand to the Principality Stadium in Cardiff to kick-off their Autumn International campaign.
It is nearly seven decades since Wales last beat New Zealand, an infamous run of ignominy. Wayne Pivac’s side are particularly depleted for their encounter with an All Blacks side fresh from putting a ton on the USA last weekend, with an already lengthy injury list extended by Ken Owens’ withdrawal. Pivac has also been unable to pick any of his England-based players, with this encounter falling outside of the World Rugby stipulated window for autumn international fixtures.
New Zealand arrive in Cardiff with a typically outstanding squad, led by Sam Whitelock in the absence of Sam Cane and with Beauden Barrett chosen ahead of Richie Mo’unga at fly-half on his 100th cap. Barrett faces off against former New Zealand Under-20s team-mate Gareth Anscombe at ten, who has battled back from a serious injury and returns to international rugby against the country of his birth. For the first time in a long while due to the coronavirus pandemic a capacity crowd is expected at the Principality Stadium, where the roof will be open on a wet and wild autumn night as Wales look to break their long drought. Follow all the action below, live.
Moments of magnificence from the All Blacks
It is a reasonably familiar script for New Zealand but they were simply outstanding in that final quarter. I think this might have been the pick of their scores – how about the control on that little pitching wedge from Jordie Barrett?
Harry Latham-Coyle30 October 2021 19:18
Beauden Barrett speaks to Amazon Prime
“I’m somewhat relieved it is over. It has been a tense week because of all the support that has rolled in. What a place to do it – the Welsh fans are hard to beat.
“We always had to work against a very good Welsh side. I am proud of our boys. We showed various ways we can play and adapted well to the yellow card.
“I just wanted to focus on playing well but tonight I’ll enjoy the boys’ company and thank everyone who has helped me. It is a very competitive team to be a part of and we all push each other.”
Harry Latham-Coyle30 October 2021 19:17
FT: Wales 16-54 New Zealand
Alun Wyn Jones has a chat with All Blacks head coach Ian Foster, no sling or apparent discomfort for the stricken Welsh lock – will he win cap 150 next week?
Harry Latham-Coyle30 October 2021 19:13
FULL TIME: WALES 16-54 NEW ZEALAND
Harry Latham-Coyle30 October 2021 19:11
TRY! Wales 16-54 NEW ZEALAND (Beauden Barrett try, 79 minutes)
An interception try to start things, an interception try to finish!
To close a delicious taster menu, Beauden Barrett helps himself to a second gifted pleasurable morsel, snatching Johnny McNicholl’s loose offload out of the air on halfway and putting his foot down to push New Zealand beyond the half-century mark.
Brother Jordie strikes the right-hand upright with the final kick of the game but those last 15 minutes were an exhibition from the All Blacks, and they’ve blown Wales away.
Harry Latham-Coyle30 October 2021 19:10
Wales 16-49 New Zealand, 78 minutes
Beauden Barrett is named the player of the match by the broadcaster, a fair enough call, though I would posit that there are plenty who feel he probably shouldn’t have been on for a full 80 minutes.
Harry Latham-Coyle30 October 2021 19:08
Wales 16-49 New Zealand, 76 minutes
Tupou Vaa’i now gets his moment in the open field, lolloping energetically with long strides and threatening to goose-step the last Welsh defender, just about dragged down at the top of one of his skyscraper thighs. New Zealand threaten to turn his offload into a score as Brad Weber bundles onwards, but Wales force a breakdown penalty.
Harry Latham-Coyle30 October 2021 19:07
Wales 16-49 New Zealand, 74 minutes
Knocked on with the line in sight and what a shame for New Zealand! This was another piece of opulence with ball in hands, all offloading limbs and supporting bodies popping out of the air like heads of a hydra as the All Blacks kept the ball alive. Ardie Savea’s blind out-the-back pass was the standout moment of another passage of remarkable interplay but the ball eventually evades the grasping hands of the would-be scorer after Richie Mo’unga, now on the field, offloaded having been hauled back three metres short.
Harry Latham-Coyle30 October 2021 19:05
TRY! Wales 16-49 NEW ZEALAND (Anton Lienert-Brown try, 72 minutes)
And the try comes! Wales are short of defenders out wide so try to force the issue with a hard blitz, but Beauden Barrett dummies and then lifts a clever floated pass for Rieko Ioane to rush on to.
Ioane finds Barrett the younger, who gives try-scoring responsibilities to Anton Lienert-Brown, who stoops to take the pass and slides to claim the five points. Jordie Barrett converts from the touchline and New Zealand are sniffing 50.
Harry Latham-Coyle30 October 2021 19:03
Wales 16-42 New Zealand, 71 minutes
New Zealand now set about beasting Wales around the fringes, all muscle and bustle with tight-in carriers, which will surely open space out wide…
Harry Latham-Coyle30 October 2021 19:00