Tuesday 27 September 2016

Gatland pledges to learn tough lessons

New Zealand 46 Wales 6

Greg Stutchbury

Published 26/06/2016 | 02:30

New Zealand All Blacks' Beauden Barrett runs in for his second try against Wales. Photo: AP
New Zealand All Blacks' Beauden Barrett runs in for his second try against Wales. Photo: AP

Fly-half Beauden Barrett grabbed two tries in his 26 points as the All Blacks completed a series sweep over Wales with a third Test demolition.

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Barrett, who finished the game at fullback, added points from the boot with two penalties and five conversions, while Ben Smith, George Moala, Dane Coles and Israel Dagg scored tries as New Zealand blew the score out in the second half.

New Zealand All Blacks' Ryan Crotty fends off a tackle. Photo: Brett Phibbs/New Zealand Herald via AP
New Zealand All Blacks' Ryan Crotty fends off a tackle. Photo: Brett Phibbs/New Zealand Herald via AP

Fly-half Dan Biggar kicked two first-half penalties for the visitors, who had been enterprising and put the world champions under pressure in the first two Tests but ran out of steam after 12 months of constant rugby.

The All Blacks had a much better first half than they did in the first two games and underlined how dangerous they were on the counter-attack, something Wales coach Warren Gatland had hammered into his team throughout the series.

Smith and Moala's first-half tries resulted from attacks from deep with Smith and Dagg irrepressible as they linked and put each other into space.

Moala, playing his second Test, also had a try ruled out by television official George Ayoub following another counter from the Smith-Dagg combination.

New Zealand All Blacks' halfback Aaron Smith tries to evade the Welsh. Photo: Brett Phibbs/New Zealand Herald via AP
New Zealand All Blacks' halfback Aaron Smith tries to evade the Welsh. Photo: Brett Phibbs/New Zealand Herald via AP

Wales, who had controlled the ball for much of the opening 15 minutes, were restricted to Biggar's penalties.

"We came out and showed much better intent and took care of the ball," All Blacks captain Kieran Read said. "They have come off a long season and we were pretty fired up to put on an 80-minute performance. It does take a while to wear sides down and we have managed to do that."

Barrett extended the lead to 25-6 shortly after the break when he converted his own try and grabbed his second after moving to fullback after a raft of replacements. He then set the platform for Coles' sixth Test try with a searing midfield break. Dagg scored a length-of-the-field try four minutes after the full-time hooter.

"The scoreboard is a fair reflection," Wales captain Sam Warburton said. "We played well in the first two Tests but we were poor today."

Gatland has promised his team will learn tough lessons from their series whitewash. He acknowledged the trip had exposed areas of the game in need of radical work if Wales are ever to end their 63-year losing run against the All Blacks.

"This was very disappointing," the 52-year-old New Zealander said. "We thought there were plenty of positives from the first two Tests and we started this one pretty well.

"But we missed a few one-on-one tackles. Our tackle success rate was well below our usual standards. We came to New Zealand with a different mindset to evolve our game and be positive in attack. I feel we have done that. But defensively we have been disappointing and have let ourselves down in an area we have traditionally been good at."

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