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New Zealand beat Wales in Wellington to clinch series

Published 18/06/2016

Jonathan Davies scored a try but it was not enough for Wales
Jonathan Davies scored a try but it was not enough for Wales

New Zealand once again showed their ruthless streak after the break to condemn Wales to a series-deciding 36-22 defeat in Wellington.

The world champions scored 26 unanswered points in the second half, thanks to tries from Ben Smith, Beauden Barrett, Waisake Naholo and Ardie Savea, to go 2-0 up in the three-match series.

Alun Wyn Jones cancelled out Israel Dagg's first-half score at Wellington's Westpac Stadium, while late tries from Liam Williams and Jonathan Davies proved too little, too late.

Wales' expansive approach forced New Zealand back-rower Sam Cain to slow the ball down at a ruck, and Dan Biggar kicked the resulting penalty to give Wales a 3-0 lead after 16 minutes.

But New Zealand replied almost immediately. Naholo broke clear down the left wing, before Ross Moriarty offended at the ruck.

Aaron Cruden turned down a shot at goal and opted for a lineout at the corner, and the gamble paid off when Malakai Fekitoa found the returning Dagg, who dummied past Rhys Patchell to score his 15th Test match try. Cruden converted to put the All Blacks 7-3 ahead after 20 minutes.

New Zealand had found their rhythm and began to threaten the Welsh defence.

Smith used his evasive footwork to move his side close to the try-line, before the visitors gave Cruden a second penalty after 29 minutes. His game was soon ended by a serious-looking neck injury.

But Davies inspired Wales to go in level at the break. The centre burst down the middle to set his side on the offensive.

Biggar then moved it right to Roberts, who handed the ball off to Davies, who looped a pass over Smith into the hands of Jones, who dotted down at the corner.

Biggar kicked the conversion from the touchline to make it 10-10 at half-time.

A Sam Warburton break fizzled out after the break, and they were punished by the clinical All Blacks after 52 minutes. Barrett wrestled through and found Smith, who sprinted past Hallam Amos to score at the corner. Barrett converted to restore New Zealand's seven-point lead.

The replacement stand-off pressed his case in the absence of Cruden, and put New Zealand clear two minutes later.

A strong scrum gave Barrett the perfect attacking platform, and he wrestled past Biggar to stretch over the line.

And it got even worse for Warren Gatland on the hour-mark, when Kieran Read combined with Aaron Smith at the back of a scrum to set up a walk-over try for Naholo.

Replacement flanker Savea showed that try-scoring runs in the family as he stepped inside to put the gloss on the victory, before Williams broke to score from long-range, and Davies then fended off a defender to score a second consolation.

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