New Zealand Too Strong For Wales

New Zealand kicked-off the Summer Rugby International series with a 39-21 victory over Wales in Eden Park. It was a game in which Welsh winger George North picked up a hamstring injury.

The Welsh had the audacity to take the lead with a super try from Taulupe Faletau, but all that did was wake the home side up. Two quick tries in three minutes from Julian Savea, following a cross-field kick to the corner from Aaron Cruden, and Waisake Naholo, again from a Cruden pass had the All Blacks 15-5 in front after only twenty minutes.

Two penalties from Dan Biggar closed the gap to four points before Liam Williams broke through the All Blacks defence to pass to Rhys Webb to put the Welsh in front after Biggar’s conversion.

The second half began with both sides trading penalty kicks, until seventeen minutes from time a quick tap allowed Naholo to crash his way over the line from five meters out.

Minutes later New Zealand went through the phases after a line-out and Patrick Tuipulotu off-loaded to Kieran Read to touchdown and give them breathing room over the tourists.

A last minute Nathan Harris try, where he found himself on the overlap, sealed the win. It’s now 22 years, and counting, since the All Blacks lost at Eden Park.

After the game Wales coach Warren Gatland said, “Brilliant for 60 minutes, that’s the learning you take from playing the best team in the world. We were blowing a bit in the last 20 minutes, and they just keep coming at ya”

He also said that George North’s injury would be assessed on Sunday.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said, “I thought it was a really good test. George North was outstanding. Whilst this was a little rusty, all our first tests of the year are a little rusty.”

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