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Alun Wyn Jones injured as New Zealand hits undernourished Wales | Fall International

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The last time Wales beat New Zealand was the year Everest was first conquered. At no point did it appear that the hosts were about to climb their still elusive summit under the bright lights of Cardiff,
especially after losing totem Alun Wyn Jones to a painful shoulder injury in the first quarter. The All Blacks were runaway winners in the end, although they weren’t always at their best.

Instead, it was an unforgettable evening for influential and reliable Beauden Barrett, on the occasion of his 100th test. Two interception tries of their silver-booted No.10 carefully marked a record-breaking loss for Wales at home, equaling the largest margin of victory the All Blacks have managed in Wales since that game was first contested in 1905. Seven one-man tries, four of them coming in the final quarter, accurately reflected the difference in edge between the respective teams.

Would it have made a difference if the English contingent from Wales had been available? Probably not. Dan Bigger, Taulupe Faletau, Louis Rees-Zammit and co would have added a bit more quality to the Lions, but the players Wales really needed were hard grafters like Ken Owens and Josh Navidi to put more pressure on the Lions. All Black’s set piece and their youthful back. -line. Covid-absent Willis Halaholo could also have added a punch to the midfield although Johnny Williams scored a deserved try in the 61st minute and Johnny McNicholl and Owen Lane also did their best to add a bit of ‘energy.

As so often Cardiff’s pre-match atmosphere helped too, the enthusiasm swirling around the anthems almost tangible. Naturally enough, there was also more than a hint of gratitude in the air after all those grim Covid-infested months of empty seats and long-distance vision. Even the DJ of the day on his decks tried his best to appear cheerful when the crowd began to cheer on an old school classic by Tom Jones, a professional risk for this type of gig.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t a great day for the other perennial in Welsh rugby. Alas poor Alun Wyn. From the moment he collapsed to the ground after tackling Jordie Barrett, it was clear the collision was significant. It was the same joint that threatened to cut his Lions tour down and a cruel way to mark his incredible reshuffle achievement of Richie McCaw as the world record holder for One Great Nation.

With him, for a while at least, have gone the arrogance and self-confidence of Wales, which is never good news against this particular opposition. There is no such thing as a complacent young All Black, nor a glaring weak link. More often than not, these visitors exude a collective certainty that eludes virtually all other teams. It goes beyond trust to the point where, whatever the score, it can sound like a religious belief.

It clearly helps to have individuals with Barrett’s ability to get things done in the blink of an eye. Barely three minutes had passed when Anscombe, looking to get his bottom line working for the first time, threw a pass through midfield directly to his counterpart as if they were both, as it was. the case, playing together for the junior All Blacks. Pre-set dream scenarios rarely come true in international rugby, but scoring clearly under the Cardiff posts on your hundredth test is as close to rugby nirvana as anyone could hope for.

Anton Lienert-Brown’s calculated blow to Johnny Williams behind the winning line was another ominous moment, as were Wales’ problems at the time of the scrum. The home side conceded eight penalties in the first half hour alone and Jordie Barrett had already extended the lead to 13-3 before Wales’ day took a turn for the worse.

There’s a reason New Zealand started starting huge Jordie Barrett at the back instead of quicksilver Damian McKenzie and it was once again evident here as Barrett made a dent again in midfield and the excellent Ardie Savea fed TJ Perenara’s support for the Goal. With Wales also unable to take advantage of the field position they established, losing a few key offensive lineups, an Anscombe second penalty on the stroke of halftime was the only other response at home. In the meantime, at least, the All Blacks were down to 14 men after Nepo Laulala was sent to sin-bin for catching a hunched Ross Moriarty with a shoulder. It was to be the end of Moriarty’s dazed night, however, and there was barely a soul in the stadium anticipating a scorching Welsh comeback in the 18-6 second half.

Instead, they were left to admire the talent of talented young winger Will Jordan, who scored a nice individual chip and a chase score of his own half as all the surrounding Welsh defenders appeared to hit a piece of sand. moving. It was Jordan’s 16th try in just 11 tests, a calling card. Another very promising prospect Dalton Papalii Sevu Reece and Lienert-Brown added more scores in the last quarter to extinguish Williams’ fleeting ray of light. Even when it takes a while to get started on soft European tracks, the All Blacks are struggling to catch up.

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