Richard Ferguson

EOYT: Wales v New Zealand


Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :All Blacks, In the news on 27 Nov 2010 at 17:00
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While New Zealand have been setting the rugby world alight with a range of superb skills in their exciting high-tempo ball-in-hand pattern of play, Wales have not won a match since March.

It is no surprise then that when they meet at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday, the All Blacks go in as overwhelming favourites with the Welsh labelled no-hopers. And while these designations are not necessarily accurate, since it is after all 15 top-tier international players against 15, even the most optimistic of Welsh supporters believe it will take a miracle for the home team to win.

In 27 clashes since their inaugural Test match in 1905, Wales have beaten New Zealand three times, but not in over half a century as those wins came in 1905, 1935 and 1953, with New Zealand winning 23 in a row since then. The All Blacks have scored a total of 103 tries to Wales’ 22 and 812 points to 256.

Wales have a miserable Test record for 2010 with a mere two wins in 11 games, managing to beat only Scotland and Italy. They’ve lost to England, France, Ireland, Australia, South Africa (twice) and New Zealand (twice).

They drew with Fiji last week in a performance described by coach Warren Gatland as embarrassing. Gatland and his assistant coaches Shaun Edwards and Rob Howley were openly critical of the shortcomings in the Welsh players’ performance and so upset was the head coach that he announced to his team in the changing-room immediately after the Fiji debacle that captain Ryan Jones would be replaced as skipper by Matthew Rees.

Gatland recently had his contract extended to 2015, but the harsh reality is that since winning the Six Nations in 2008, Wales have won only 11 of their last 28 games. In stark contrast, the All Blacks have won 12 of their 13 Tests this year, with the sole defeat the last-play loss to Australia in Hong Kong. They’ve beaten South Africa three times, Australia three times, Wales and Ireland twice each, plus England and Scotland.

While Wales have scored a total of 19 tries this year, the Kiwis have scored 54. For Wales to be competitive, there will need to be an enormous improvement in their set piece, with line-outs a key platform. Decision-making, especially as to when to hold on to the ball, when to offload and when to kick, discipline in not conceding penalties, and accuracy – at breakdown in particular – will all be crucial.

Their defence will be stretched thin as the All Blacks have shown impressive ability to attack both close in and out wide, and if the opposition have that covered they attack through the middle. The New Zealanders’ variation of point of attack and the rapidity with which they change the area of pressure has been brilliant.

If Wales fail to guard their possession as they take the ball through phases and end up conceding multiple turnovers, they will spend a chunk of the game watching Daniel Carter lining up conversions, because the All Blacks are avaricious in converting turnovers into tries.

But Wales are not without attacking skill and they will have learned from Australia and England that it is vital to take the game to the All Blacks as much as possible, to run at the New Zealanders and put their defence under pressure.

The All Blacks are potent on attack and miserly on defence, but they are not invulnerable.

Can Wales defend tightly enough when the visitors have ball in hand and exert sufficient pressure on the Kiwi defence with their own possession to make a tight game of it? Do Wales have the mental toughness to escape the mire of mediocrity in which they have been wallowing and play to potential?

They have 80 minutes on Saturday to redeem themselves, not least of all in the eyes of their own passionate supporters.

Teams:

Wales: 15 Lee Byrne, 14 George North, 13 Tom Shanklin, 12 James Hook, 11 Tom James, 10 Stephen Jones, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Ryan Jones, 7 Sam Warburton, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Alun-Wyn Jones, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Matthew Rees (captain), 1 Gethin Jenkins.

Replacements: 16 Huw Bennett, 17 Paul James, 18 Jonathan Thomas, 19 Andy Powell, 20 Martyn Williams, 21 Richie Rees, 22 Andrew Bishop.

New Zealand: 15 Mils Muliaina, 14 Isaia Toeava, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (captain), 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brad Thorn, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Tony Woodcock.

Replacements: 16 Andrew Hore, 17 John Afoa, 18 Anthony Boric, 19 Daniel Braid, 20 Andy Ellis, 21 Stephen Donald, 22 Ma’a Nonu.

Date: Saturday, November 27
Venue: Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Kick-off: 17.15 (17.15 GMT; 06.15, Sunday November 28 NZ time)
Expected weather: Maximum temperature 1ºC, minimum -3ºC; wind chill -6ºC to -8ºC; cloudy/snow showers; wind from north east 14-16km/h
Referee: Alan Lewis (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa), David Changleng (Scotland)
TMO: Giulio De Santis (Italy)



54 Comments

  • Got NZ by 10

  • Comment 1, posted at 27.11.10 18:26:43 by chaz Reply
    ChazTeam captain
     
  • Can Wales pull off a miracle?!

  • Comment 2, posted at 27.11.10 18:41:53 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 2) : :???:

  • Comment 3, posted at 27.11.10 18:54:29 by chaz Reply

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  • OH MY what a opening to the Wales NZ team

  • Comment 4, posted at 27.11.10 19:12:05 by chaz Reply

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  • Anthems being sung.. NZ look hyped..

  • Comment 5, posted at 27.11.10 19:14:03 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • Will Dan Carter break Jonny’s world record?

  • Comment 6, posted at 27.11.10 19:14:29 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • R MC looks a bit worried :???:

  • Comment 7, posted at 27.11.10 19:17:53 by chaz Reply

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  • Haka as fantastic as always..

  • Comment 8, posted at 27.11.10 19:19:13 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • And we have kick off..

  • Comment 9, posted at 27.11.10 19:21:23 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • Wales have a first go at poles..

    Jones with a good kick.

    Wales 3 – 0 NZ

  • Comment 10, posted at 27.11.10 19:22:42 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • Gee that PK was quick :roll:

  • Comment 11, posted at 27.11.10 19:22:49 by chaz Reply

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  • Try NZ!!!

    Hosea Gear!!

  • Comment 12, posted at 27.11.10 19:25:25 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • Wales 3 – 5 NZ

    5 minutes

  • Comment 13, posted at 27.11.10 19:26:18 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • Carter misses his first kick..

  • Comment 14, posted at 27.11.10 19:26:58 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • Carter has another go, this time for three points..

    Carter breaks the record!!

    Wales 3 – 8 NZ

    9 minutes

  • Comment 15, posted at 27.11.10 19:29:47 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • Carter now leads as the leading point scorer with 1179 points

    Wilkenson has 1178

  • Comment 16, posted at 27.11.10 19:31:58 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • Carter misses a penalty kick..

    Wales 3 – 8 NZ

    13 minutes

  • Comment 17, posted at 27.11.10 19:34:23 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • :mrgreen:

    GO NZ :mrgreen:

  • Comment 18, posted at 27.11.10 19:38:39 by chaz Reply

    ChazTeam captain
     
  • Muliaina Try!!!

    Wales 3 – 13 NZ

    21 minutes

  • Comment 19, posted at 27.11.10 19:43:13 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • Carter misses his 3rd kick of the game..

    Not in the greatest form..

  • Comment 20, posted at 27.11.10 19:44:44 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • ok my MP is there so stop the game please and chaz will be spot on :oops:

  • Comment 21, posted at 27.11.10 19:44:54 by chaz Reply

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  • Wales penalty.. hits the post..

  • Comment 22, posted at 27.11.10 19:46:32 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • Another Wales penalty for a Brad Thorn high tackle..

    Wales line out

  • Comment 23, posted at 27.11.10 19:49:13 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • Close to a Wales try.. nobody there to straighten the line..

  • Comment 24, posted at 27.11.10 19:53:13 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • Stephen Jones going for poles again…

    Wales 6 – 13 NZ

    32 minutes

  • Comment 25, posted at 27.11.10 19:56:25 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • if they carry on like this i just might get a spot on :oops: ;-)

  • Comment 26, posted at 27.11.10 19:57:30 by chaz Reply

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  • Not the most entertaining game in the world..

  • Comment 27, posted at 27.11.10 20:01:30 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • what is it these days they just want to fight to win :evil:

  • Comment 28, posted at 27.11.10 20:03:11 by chaz Reply

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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 27) : its a bit boring

  • Comment 29, posted at 27.11.10 20:03:40 by chaz Reply

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  • Wales penalty at scrum time..

    Stephen Jones going for poles

    Wales 9 – 13 NZ

    39 minutes

  • Comment 30, posted at 27.11.10 20:05:12 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • Mp is 4 so far oh my this week-end looks like there won’t be a high score at all

  • Comment 31, posted at 27.11.10 20:27:41 by chaz Reply

    ChazTeam captain
     
  • Must say the NZ lv their tatoo’s :smile:

  • Comment 32, posted at 27.11.10 20:30:07 by chaz Reply

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  • Wales 12 – 13 NZ

  • Comment 33, posted at 27.11.10 20:33:40 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • Wales fighting back with all they got

    Daniel Braid gt a YC but goes off with a smile :evil:

    Wales 12 / NZ 13
    51 min

  • Comment 34, posted at 27.11.10 20:34:02 by chaz Reply

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  • try NZ :lol:

    DC going 4 a conversion

    Wales 12 / 20 NZ

  • Comment 35, posted at 27.11.10 20:36:07 by chaz Reply

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  • Wales 15 / 23 NZ

    63 min

  • Comment 36, posted at 27.11.10 20:50:46 by chaz Reply

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  • Wales 15 – 23 NZ

    63 minutes

  • Comment 37, posted at 27.11.10 20:50:47 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • Wales 18 / 23 NZ

    68 min

    NZ must just get a try pleaseeeeeeeee :mrgreen:

  • Comment 38, posted at 27.11.10 20:54:45 by chaz Reply

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  • Wales 18 – 23 NZ

    68 minutes

  • Comment 39, posted at 27.11.10 20:54:59 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • MP is 5 so far hope me is lucky 2 night

  • Comment 40, posted at 27.11.10 20:55:32 by chaz Reply

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  • Try NZ

    wales 18 / 30 NZ

    74 min

  • Comment 41, posted at 27.11.10 20:59:18 by chaz Reply

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  • Wales 18 – 28 NZ

    73 minutes

  • Comment 42, posted at 27.11.10 20:59:30 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • try NZ

    wales 18 / 37 NZ

    77 min

  • Comment 43, posted at 27.11.10 21:02:20 by chaz Reply

    ChazTeam captain
     
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 42) : i think u are on the wrong channel my friend :???:

  • Comment 44, posted at 27.11.10 21:03:32 by chaz Reply

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  • Wales 18 – 37 NZ

    3 minutes to play

  • Comment 45, posted at 27.11.10 21:04:16 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • Ma’a Nonu is way better than SBW and the same goes for Conrad Smith.

    That amazing offload of SBW has no impact anymore.

  • Comment 46, posted at 27.11.10 21:05:05 by Letgo Reply
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  • MP is 19 :cry:

  • Comment 47, posted at 27.11.10 21:05:20 by chaz Reply

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  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 45) : thats better :mrgreen:

  • Comment 48, posted at 27.11.10 21:05:49 by chaz Reply

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  • oh my Wales tryyyyyyy :mrgreen:

  • Comment 49, posted at 27.11.10 21:06:26 by chaz Reply

    ChazTeam captain
     
  • Final score

    wales 25 / 37 NZ

  • Comment 50, posted at 27.11.10 21:07:23 by chaz Reply

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  • and the MP is 12 a bit better

    Chaz is 2 points out :smile:

  • Comment 51, posted at 27.11.10 21:08:14 by chaz Reply

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  • Well done NZ at least i get a wp and a mp :mrgreen:

  • Comment 52, posted at 27.11.10 21:09:34 by chaz Reply

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  • Wales 25 – 37 NZ

    FULL TIME

  • Comment 53, posted at 27.11.10 21:11:02 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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  • Well at least NZ got a GS :roll:

  • Comment 54, posted at 27.11.10 21:12:43 by chaz Reply

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