Cruden guides NZ to victory

2012-11-24 21:35

Cardiff - Aaron Cruden guided world champions New Zealand to a comfortable 33-10 victory over Wales on Saturday to extend their unbeaten streak to 20 matches.

The All Blacks outscored the Welsh three tries to two, but 18 points from the boot of the flawless Cruden, quick play of the ball, a ruthless defence and mastery at the breakdown were key to their success at a packed Millennium Stadium.

Wales' early hopes were not helped by their insistence on spurning three kickable penalties, and the defeat for Warren Gatland's men was their sixth on the trot, their worst run of defeats since 2003.

It was also a 25th consecutive loss to the All Blacks since 1953.

"Wales never gave up. We had to defend in the second half, the momentum swings about, but to win by 23 points in a place like this is a great result," said New Zealand skipper Richie McCaw.

"It was a reasonable performance but perhaps we did not treasure the ball as much as we could have. We will have to get over this afternoon, but we would be disappointed to go to Twickenham next week and not put in a big performance."

The game featured a ferocious, no-holds barred opening quarter that saw three Welshmen helped off.

In the opening minute, All Blacks hooker Andrew Hore took out lock Bradley Davies with a cynical swinging arm to the head and then tighthead prop Aaron Jarvis suffered a nasty knee injury.

Wales surprisingly spurned two kickable penalties, instead asking Rhys Priestland to kick for the corner. The second of his efforts went dead and handed the impetus straight back to the visitors.

And Cruden, in for the injured playmaker Dan Carter, made no mistake with his first effort at goal in the 10th minute.

Wales full-back Leigh Halfpenny showed all his defensive qualities with a tackle to wrap up winger Julian Savea in the corner as Cruden and Conrad Smith started to open up the Welsh backs.

As centre Jamie Roberts was helped off the field, Cruden kicked a second penalty, again for offside in the backline and then added a third when Wales captain Sam Warbuton was penalised for playing the ball on the ground.

Liam Messam then crossed for one of the more memorable tries of the autumn internationals, rounding off a startling piece of play that started when Israel Dagg escaped two tackles and offloaded to Savea.

The impressive Cuthbert managed to bring the winger down, but an offload to Cruden was recycled and the ball was sent spinning simply and effectively down the line, Messam the happy recipient of the final pass to cross in the corner.

With Cruden adding the extras, Wales were firmly on the backfoot, but a 40-metre break by Jonathan Davies brought the crowd to their feet.

A penalty attempt was again spurned as Wales went for a try, but Priestland committed the cardinal sin of overkicking for touch, for the second time, handing the advantage straight back to New Zealand.

The All Blacks made no such mistake when Cruden kicked to the corner on the stroke of half-time.

Tony Woodcock was on hand to replicate his try in the World Cup final, the veteran prop crashing over through the middle of a line-out after a perfectly-executed tap down from the back.

Cruden kicked the conversion to leave the visitors 23-0 down at half-time, the fly-half adding a fourth penalty two minutes into the second period.

The floodgates appeared to have been opened when lock Luke Romano crashed through Cuthbert after a fine draw-and-pass by Savea. Cruden maintained his 100 percent kicking record.

But Wales were rewarded for their perserverance with a try through unusual means: all 15 players joined a maul off a line-out and powered over the All Blacks line, Scott Williams touching down in the mass of bodies.

A raft of replacements in the last 15 minutes made for a frantic end in which Cuthbert got a deserved consolation try as the All Blacks maintained a winning record in November internationals in 28 matches dating back to 2002.


  • - 2012-11-24 21:45

    Awesome team!

  • Sige Gorabeb - 2012-11-24 22:05

    I still maintain, the boks must use the AB's as a yardstick and forget about this lackluster performances against this mediocre teams otherwise the boks will never be world beaters.

      nzbro.allblack - 2012-11-24 22:41

      you can never be considered as "world beaters" if you do not have a successful performance standard that other teams try to emulate like the AB's do. As things stand , you are chasing the No 1 team and always will until you find your own winning formula which we all know has disappeared since 2003. Even your current default No 2 status only came about because No 2 (Oz) lost to France and NOT because the Boks beat the then No 2 Oz to earn No 2 ranking. First sort out your game before you try and take on the world. All Blacks currently 20 matches unbeaten. I'll leave the boks low stats for you to check so you can see the truth in comparison. world beaters?" ....not by a long shot. you should stop living in the past.

      darryn.lahner - 2012-11-25 12:32

      NZBro - Well done to your team! They show the world how to play "real" rugby and that only makes the game stronger because people show up to watch the spectacle. I miss the days when the Boks and AB's used to take it one for one. The AB's need some stiff competition but I don't think that we will be the side to do it with the poor input at grassroots over here. The government is not even prepared to deliver textbooks and build schools so we can forget about rugby development at the junior stages. Then they fling abuse at rugby because ethere are no black players in the top teams.... it seems like its always apartheid's fault but they never look at the basics and improving things themselves. BTW.... Ritchie McCaw is the undisputed best forward of all time. What an awesome player to have in your 15! All right.... your head is now swelling to a disproportionate size...... GO the BOKKE! .... someday.... that is...LOL

  • christian.denyschen - 2012-11-24 22:24

    I would pay money to see the look on McCaw face again when Wales sneaked the try from that line out move lol he didn't know what to do or what just happened.

      nzbro.allblack - 2012-11-24 22:32

      well I dont have a pic of mcCaws look for,you mate but how about the look on smit's face after AB's beat boks on smit's 100th game in 2010 at soweto? see my profile pic. lol

      nzbro.allblack - 2012-11-24 23:11

      and how about the look on YOUR face when the AB's beat you AGAIN at soweto in 2012? lol

      will.hodge.524 - 2012-11-25 03:43

      and how about the look on dan carter's face after the 2007 wc quarter final haha now that was funny

      niel.walt - 2012-11-25 10:53

      Imagine if that throw went wrong and nz ran all the way to the other side to score, that woulda been funny. I remember that look on Dan's face, it was a look of the ref just cheated us out of a wc trophy.

  • will.hodge.524 - 2012-11-25 03:42

    You can always put your money on the all blacks winning and getting the rub of the green when they are reffed by the so called "best ref in the world" CRAIG JOUBERT

  • glen.keesing - 2012-11-25 06:06

    Did i hear something about Wales chances of winning the world Cup last year? How about their chances of winning a game of rugby, any game , there is probably a team ranked 22nd in the world or something that they may get close too. Good luck bouyo.

  • bernard.mackenzie.5 - 2012-11-25 10:03

    I didn't know about Andrew Hore and the seals. Sounds like a really classy guy.

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