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All Blacks lose two ahead of Wales clash

By Jack Davies

Rieko Ioane and Luke Romano have been ruled out of New Zealand’s final Test of the year against Wales on Saturday.


Wing Ioane – nominated for World Rugby’s Player of the Year award last week – played the full 80 minutes as the All Blacks edged Scotland 22-17 at Murrayfield on Saturday.

However, a shoulder issue will see him miss next weekend’s trip to Cardiff, while lock Romano, who was replaced early in the second half in Edinburgh, has a foot injury.

Wales, meanwhile, could be without influential back Liam Williams, who was withdrawn just short of the hour mark in a 13-6 victory over Georgia.

Williams was the only man to start against Georgia who had also been part of the XV against Australia a week earlier.

“I’m not sure about Liam Williams,” coach Warren Gatland said of Williams. “He is hobbling around.”


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William 2 hours ago
All Blacks vs England takeaways: Richie Who? Time for Cortez

Correct analysis of Perofeta’s bungling of the try opportunity Ben. Never ‘fixed’ Steward as he came across in defence and passed too early. Steward didn’t have to break his stride and simply moved on to pressure Telea. Never scanned the easier option of passing to the two supporting players on the inside. Beauden Barrett showed how it is done when he put Telea in for his try. Another point from the game is that the rush defence is hard to maintain as the number of phases increases. From scrums the defensive line only contains backs who all have roughly the same pace. Once forwards are involved, the defence has players with variable speeds often leading to a jagged line. It also tends to lose pace overall giving the attack more time and space. Beauden Barrett’s break to set up Telea’s try came because Baxter went in to tackle McKenzie and Steward went out to cover Telea. Barrett has a massive hole to run through, then commits Steward by passing as late as possible and Telea scores untouched. Another comment I would make is that Ben Earl is a good player and generally an excellent defender but he made three significant misses in the series, two of which led to All Black tries. Got stepped by Perofeta in Dunedin for Savea’s try, missed McKenzie in Auckland leading to what should have been a certain try being set up by Perofeta and was one of the tacklers who couldn’t stop Savea in the leadup to Telea’s first try. Perhaps he should contact Owen Farrell to pick up a few tips from ‘tackle school’.

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