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Welsh rugby enveloped in its latest existential crisis

As Wayne Pivac teeters on the edge of finding new gainful employment after a series of disappointing results, the wider-lens story tells of dysfunction and frustration

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NZ media refuse to spare 'rubbish' Wales after All Blacks rout

By Kim Ekin

Despite being heavily depleted, Wayne Pivac’s Wales haven’t been sparred following their 16 – 54 Autumn Nations Series rout at the hands of the All Blacks in Cardiff.


Wales were in the game right up to the final quarter, but a late and seemingly inevitable avalanche of All Blacks tries painted a very different picture on the scoreboard. It would – of course – be hard to argue it was a close game with a winning margin of 38 points.

The All Blacks outscored their hosts by seven tries to one at a capacity 70,000-plus Principality Stadium in another ominous reminder of their power as they went back to the top of the world rankings.

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TJ Perenara, Will Jordan, Dalton Papali, Sevu Reece and Anton Lienart-Brown also dotted down with Jordie Barrett adding three penalties and five conversions for a personal tally of 19 points.

Wales certainly weren’t helped by the early loss of talismanic leader Alun Wyn Jones, nor referee Mathieu Raynal’s contentious decision not to sin bin starman Beauden Barrett.

Robert Kitson writing in Guardian wrote: “The last time Wales beat New Zealand was the same year Everest was first conquered. At no stage did it remotely look as if the hosts were about to scale that still-elusive peak under the bright Cardiff lights… Would it have made much difference had Wales’s English-based contingent been available? Probably not.”

The Mirror’s Alex Spinx wrote: “The outcome was entirely predictable from the moment he intercepted Gareth Anscombe’s pass on Wales’ first meaningful attack.”


New Zealand’s media were less magnanimous following Wales’ Cardiff collapse.

Gregor Paul, writing in the New Zealand Herald’, noted: “Wales could have had every player in the land available, even played with a few extra and they most likely still would have withered and then sunk without a trace against an All Blacks team that produced a patient, disciplined and impressively controlled effort.

“The Welsh will have sat in their changing room after this one and known they were blown off the park by a team that was light years ahead in speed of thought and movement.”


The New Zealand Herald’s Chris Rattue offered up maybe the most brutal take on Pivac’s side, writing: “Wales, by the end, were rubbish and not even trying particularly hard. The Sevu Reece try contained tremendous All Blacks skill, but there was little desperation in the Welsh cover defence.”

“Even when the score was relatively close, you knew with absolute certainty what would happen in the final quarter at Cardiff.”

Stuff ‘s Marc Hinton was a little kinder. “Wayne Pivac’s home outfit gave a pretty decent account of themselves, a misfiring lineout apart, and were well in the contest through the first 40 minutes as they conceded the only two tries of the spell, but more than held their own in the ebb and flow of the contest to trail 18-6 at the break.”

“Some of the skillwork from Foster’s men over the second 40 was of the very highest quality.”

additional reporting AAP




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RUGBYPASS+ Team of the Autumn Series Team of the Autumn Series