New Zealand takes clean sweep against Wales

International
AAP
by AAP

The Welsh dam finally burst as the All Blacks romped to a 46-6 win on Saturday in Dunedin to sweep their three-Test series.

The world champions unleashed their attacking weapons in compelling style, scoring six unanswered tries against a Wales outfit who looked out on their feet.

While the tourists were competitive in the first two Tests, they were no match for New Zealand's speed and willingness to counter-attack.

Fullback Israel Dagg, winger Ben Smith and centre George Moala ran amok, while Beauden Barrett thrived in a rare start at five-eighth, scoring two tries in a 26-point haul.

Wales had more possession but nothing like the same potency, paying for a creaky defensive line and a back-pedalling scrum.

It was their heaviest loss to New Zealand since 2003 and continues a 63-year winless streak.

The All Blacks forged their first halftime lead of the series at 18-6, an advantage they were never likely to squander against a Wales team playing their 18th game in 10 months.

Wales were 6-3 up after 20 minutes, courtesy of two penalties to Dan Biggar, before the All Blacks cut their early error count and found some rhythm.

Smith bagged the first try in the right corner in contentious fashion, with French referee Jerome Garces ruling in favour of the winger after his knee hit the touchline in the process of scoring.

Barrett's second penalty put the hosts up 11-6 before centre Moala's influence began to be felt in just his second Test.

The powerhouse Blues' back was stripped of the ball as he powered over the tryline on the half-hour mark but he made no mistake shortly afterwards, capitalising on a sizzling Dagg bust.

Barrett virtually sealed Wales' fate when he spun through Biggar's tackle to score a simple try soon after the break.

Flanker Sam Cane was shown a yellow card for repeat infringements but, soon after he returned, Barrett bagged his second try with 20 minutes still to play.

Hooker Dane Coles powered over from a Cane short ball and Dagg had the last say after the final hooter, racing 80m.

The Test ticked several boxes for the All Blacks, who fielded three debut forwards in Elliot Dixon, Liam Squire and Ofa Tu'ungafasi, while several other fringe players had game time.

Their players will return to Super Rugby, two months out from a Rugby Championship opener against Australia in Sydney.

World No.6 Wales end a gruelling tour with four losses, including an embarrassing midweek thumping from the Chiefs.

 

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