Carmarthen Journal


- DELME PARFITT Rugby writer sport@walesonlin­

AND so the wait goes on. In the end, New Zealand proved far too strong for Wales, running out comfortabl­e winners at the Principali­ty Stadium.

Here are the winners and losers from Saturday’s game that saw the All Blacks win 55-23.


The All Black No. 8 was dubbed “the best player on the planet” by Amazon pundit Jamie Roberts after his display.

Praise indeed. Perhaps that exalted tag is up for debate, but it gives you an idea of just how impressive the Hurricanes man was and what an influence a No. 8 right at the top of his game can have on a rugby match.

Probably the only thing Savea did wrong was dive over-enthusiast­ically for his second-half try and very nearly failed to ground the ball.

Other than that, he was world class.

He got over the gain-line time and again, but also displayed vision, pace and skill throughout.

He was his team’s talisman, the man who did more than any of his simply team-mates to win. set up such an emphatic


The relief and pride was etched all over Ian Foster’s face after the final whistle.

Go back to the summer and the All Blacks coach was on the brink of the sack after the home series loss to Ireland.

The pressure almost told again when Argentina won on Kiwi turf in the Rugby Championsh­ip.

But this was the sort of performanc­e, and margin of victory, that answered his most fervent critics.

As Foster himself pointed out, New Zealand have now gone five wins in a row.

Those wins may not have been the greatest in their history – they got home narrowly against Japan just before this one – but five wins is five wins.

If he can engineer something similar against England and Scotland in the coming weeks, he will look as secure in post as he has ever done.


There were some emotional scenes after the match, when the crowd had melted into the Cardiff night, of Dragons wing Rio Dyer embracing his family in the Principali­ty Stadium stands.

His team may have lost, but his tryscoring performanc­e on his debut made it a day to remember quite apart from it being his first Wales cap.

Dyer profited from a George North decoy run to slice through for a superb score in the 25th minute at a time when Wales, who were 17-0 in arrears, desperatel­y needed it.

The manner of the try reminded you of North’s own debut try against South Africa in 2010.

It really was a moment of searing quality.

Yes, Dyer was out-jumped by Jordie Barrett for New Zealand’s third try before half-time, but Barrett had the run on him and he should in no way beat himself up about the incident.

A proud day for Dyer, who you would think will be seen a whole lot more at this level.


You might have picked any number of New Zealand individual­s for particular praise, but Smith definitely deserves singling out.

The 34-year-old now has 113 caps but is showing no signs of being past it.

He crossed for two tries and his first one was a quite brilliant individual effort which came at a critical time early in the second half when Wales had just got themselves back to 22-16 behind.

Smith’s opportunis­m, vision and skill epitomised the gulf in class between the two sides.


The day was dismal for the Wales coach for more reasons than just this defeat in isolation.

There was a small handful of positive individual performanc­es to cling to, but other than that very little evidence Wales are progressin­g in the right direction.

Pivac won’t be the first Wales coach to find himself under pressure at this time of year, but that’s exactly where he is.

Wales need to beat Argentina and Australia to finish this campaign in credit, but any money going on them to do so will be sparing.

Winning on South African soil for the first ever time in the summer, albeit against a weakened Springbok side, provided him temporary immunity from the critics. He’s already in need of a booster.

This isn’t the first time New Zealand have left us all feeling despondent about the future of the Wales rugby team, but the bigger picture is concerning.

 ?? ?? New Zealand’s Jordie Barrett is tackled by Justin Tipuric.
New Zealand’s Jordie Barrett is tackled by Justin Tipuric.
 ?? ?? Rio Dyer breaks clear to score a try on his debut for Wales.
Picture: Getty Images
Rio Dyer breaks clear to score a try on his debut for Wales. Picture: Getty Images

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