Barrett brilliance helps New Zealand take series

by AAP

Two moments of Beauden Barrett brilliance for the All Blacks have sunk Wales 36-22 in the second Test and clinched the three-match series.

With the game locked at the halftime score of 10-10 and less than half an hour remaining, super substitute Barrett scored one try and created another in the space of three minutes.

It opened up a previously tense encounter to ensure New Zealand would win their 40th successive Test on home soil and continue their winning run against Wales since 1953.

The biggest concern for the All Blacks will be a neck injury suffered by first five-eighth Aaron Cruden late in the first half, which prompted Barrett's early introduction.

Cruden was taken to hospital after falling awkwardly in a tackle. The severity of the injury is uncertain.

As with last week's 39-21 first Test win in Auckland, the world champions played their best rugby in the second spell, when they scored four of their five tries.

Led superbly by captain Kieran Read, they played with greater all-round speed and superior efficiency at the breakdown.

Wales dominated the possession statistics and scored three tries, including two in the last six minutes to provide some cheer before the dead-rubber third Test in Dunedin next week.

Recalled All Blacks fullback Israel Dagg was the first to cross, bagging a try in the 20th minute in his first Test for nearly a year.

Cruden extended the score to 10-3 with a penalty on the half-hour mark, soon before suffering his injury.

The lengthy stoppage seemed to swing the Test's momentum, with Wales going close several times before centre Jonathan Davies created a try in the left corner to unmarked lock Alun Wyn Jones moments before halftime.

Barrett showed his class with a fend on Welsh midfielder Jamie Roberts to set up a 20th Test try to Ben Smith who, like Dagg, was earning his 50th cap.

Barrett stretched out to score under the crossbar moments later to push his team 14 points clear.

The All Blacks' dynamic bench again proved effective as the home side surged home.

Winger Waisake Naholo scored from the simple blindside scrum move before reserve flanker Ardie Savea raced 40m to score a first Test try.

Winger Liam Williams and Davies scored long-range tries to counter critics who say Wales can't match the fitness of the home side.