Wales 16-54 New Zealand: Beauden Barrett marks landmark in style as All Blacks deliver scorching finish

By Sports Desk October 30, 2021

Beauden Barrett bagged a pair of tries on his 100th Test appearance for New Zealand as the All Blacks swept away Wales 54-16 amid a deluge of late tries in Cardiff.

A week after they thrashed the United States 104-14 in Washington, New Zealand found greater resistance in the Welsh capital, but they eventually took the game away from their hosts, turning a spicy Autumn Nations Series contest into a drubbing.

Barrett took New Zealand beyond 50 points in the 79th minute with his second try of the match, and the visitors' seventh in total.

New Zealand raced into a fourth-minute lead, centurion Barrett intercepting a pass from Gareth Anscombe and charging through to score under the posts.

Try-scorer Barrett was spared a yellow card after a seemingly deliberate knock-on, before Wales lost Alun Wyn Jones to injury on the day the captain beat Richie McCaw's record tally of 148 caps for an international team. Jones suffered the upper-body blow when tackling Jordie Barrett.

New Zealand were well on top and had a second try in the 34th minute when scrum-half TJ Perenara scuttled in from close range. Prop Nepo Laulala was then only yellow-carded after making heavy contact with the head of Ross Moriarty in a tackle, perhaps a let-off for the tourists.

Kicking from Anscombe, Jordie Barrett and Rhys Priestland kept the scoreboard ticking along, before wing Will Jordan produced a thrilling third All Blacks try, chipping ahead and sprinting through to collect and dot down.

Johnny Williams thrilled the home crowd when he threw himself on Priestland's skidding kick behind the All Blacks defence, narrowing the gap to 28-16.

Then came the New Zealand surge, as Dalton Papalii exploited a gap in the Wales defence from a lineout to inflict more punishment, Sevu Reece exchanged passes on the left with Ardie Savea before dashing in, and Anton Lienert-Brown raced to the corner on the opposite flank.

Beauden Barrett had the final say, another interception seeing him gain possession on halfway, reading the pass from Johnny McNicholl and driving to the line.


Barrett times it to perfection

Moments after he was announced to the crowd as man of the match, Barrett turned on the afterburners for a second time. It was a fitting way for his match to end.

He told Amazon Prime it had been a demanding week, given the focus on him.

"I've spent a bit of time reminiscing this week and I've tried not to overdo it because we had a job in hand tonight and I wanted to focus on playing well," Barrett said. "Tonight, I'll enjoy my boys' company and thank all those people who have helped me along the journey."

Joy for Jordan

Jordan's try here was one even the most ardent Wales supporter must have admired. The decision to chip and the execution both smacked of a player with unwavering self-belief. Jordan has now scored 16 tries in Test rugby since his debut for New Zealand, twice as many as any other Tier 1 player in that period.

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