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Wales 10 New Zealand 45

Wales 10 New Zealand 45

The All Blacks ended their autumn travels with another win, this time at the expense of Wales who went down 10-45 in their first defeat of the 2006 Invesco Perpetual Series. Martyn Williams scored the sole try for Wales in front of a crowd of 74,000 at the Millennium Stadium.

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In spite of a spirited Wales fight back in the second half theĀ All Blacks showed once again why they are the top side in the world with five tries, including a hat-trick for wing Sitiveni Sivivatu. A dispute over pre-match protocol meant the All Blacks performed their traditional Haka in their changing room instead of on the pitch, but they did not waste any time once the game had started, running in their first score after just three minutes.

Rico Gear sparked the attack from inside his own half, Sivivatu kept the All Blacks moving forward before opening a clear path for centre Luke McAlister. Dan Carter converted and added four penalties to establish a commanding 16-0 lead.

Wales showed signs of their attacking potential through Shane Williams and Tom Shanklin and captain Stephen Jones hit the mark with a penalty on his return to the Wales team following injury. Yet the All Blacks were lethal from any mistake and Sivivatu crossed twice before the break for a 28-3 half-time lead.

James Hook, Gethin Jenkins and Alix Popham were introduced to immediate effect in the second half as Wales rallied. All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw was sent to the sin bin as Gareth Jenkins’s men turned the tables on the tourists. Wales looked to press home their advantage up front and Williams was shoved over by the full weight of the Welsh pack from Ian Gough’s lineout.

The try brought the Millennium Stadium to its feet but New Zealand proved too strong and hit back through Sivivatu’s third and a penalty try late on after Gear’s powerful burst.

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