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Six tries seal All Blacks' series clean sweep

It was the charge of the light experience brigade for the All Blacks as they hammered Wales 46–6 in the third Steinlager Series Test to complete a 3-0 blackwash at Dunedin on Saturday.

Making an impression against a touring team that had run out of ideas, and who were unable to best a powerful All Blacks forward pack, the home side unleashed a full bag of tricks while infusing vital match time into their new players and prising open the Welsh defence that had been so staunch in the first two Tests.


Instead it was the All Blacks defence that was the stronger.

It seemed there would be no scoring in the final 18 minutes but Wales showed they could compete for 80 and beyond and it was only when pushing to score a try at the end that they created a mistake which allowed the All Blacks to score.

The turnover opportunity saw Israel Dagg, who had moved to the wing run 90m to score the All Blacks sixth try.

Not only did the newer players who started excel, but there was a chance for the full bench to be cleared to the All Blacks' benefit in the longer term.

Centre George Moala was strong at centre, finding gaps on several occasions and scoring his second try for the side before leaving the field with an arm injury.

Blindside flanker Elliot Dixon did plenty of physical work in the loose and featured strongly with ball in hand before he was replaced by Highlanders' team-mate Liam Squire who maintained the impetus with two strong runs ahead of a try to hooker Dane Coles in the 62nd minute. First five-eighths Lima Sopoaga also featured with some good touched in the lead-up.

First five-eighths Beauden Barrett demonstrated his class in only his seventh start in the position while scoring two tries and kicking effectively for 26 points. He also switched seamlessly to fullback to accommodate Sopoaga and continued his attacking mindset with ease.

Behind them all when at fullback Dagg was at his rampant best running the ball back at speed and with elusiveness.

Perhaps Wales felt there would be advantage in testing New Zealand's rearguard after the early mistake which saw Dagg and wing Julian Savea mix-up a catch, causing Savea to drop the ball. But having only conceded a penalty in the subsequent play, they were able to recover.

Dagg especially made Wales play for their mid-field kicks by running the ball back strongly, taking gaps, and when he couldn't he was able to feed flying wing Ben Smith into space. They led the Welsh defence a merry chase, and when the ball was moved back across field, Moala, Savea and hooker Dane Coles were happy to keep the momentum going.

Smith's class was evident when he scored the first try 22 minutes into the first half, making use of a lovely long, flat pass that allowed him to get around his marker to ground the ball just before his knee hit the sideline.
Moala looked to have scored moments later after a superb break but the TMO wasn't convinced he had grounded the ball correctly and it was denied.

But another strong Dagg break, as he scythed through the defences again set up a chance and when he cleared a Ben Smith kick to midfield, the ball was superbly caught off a long pass by lock Brodie Retallick. Coles on the end of the line turned the ball back infield and from the ruck, second five-eighths Ryan Crotty sent a return ball inside to Dagg who was tackled short.

However, Moala made up for his earlier disappointment to pick up the ball at the base and drive over for the try.

Three minutes into the second half, from a five-metre scrum resulting from a Welsh error when trying to run the ball from their own goal-line, a solid scrum provided a platform for Barrett to run at the line, and with power from behind he was driven over.

The All Blacks covered the loss of flanker Sam Cane to the sin-bin 45 minutes into the game and then when he returned it was to find almost all of the New Zealand bench had made it onto the field.

In the 56th minute Lima Sopoaga produced two touches the second of which gave Barrett, who had moved to fullback, space on the outside where he shrugged off Biggar's tackle to score his second for the night.

Scorers: New Zealand 46 (Ben Smith, George Moala, Beauden Barrett 2, Dane Coles, Israel Dagg tries; Beauden Barrett 5 con, 2 pen) Wales 6 (Dan Biggar 2 pen). HT: 18-6