Wales suffered a 30th successive defeat against New Zealand as the world champion All Blacks ended their European tour in winning fashion.
But Wales will view it as a golden opportunity missed to end 64 years of hurt in the fixture after not capitalising on several scoring chances.
New Zealand triumphed 33-18 through wings Waisake Naholo and Rieko Ioane both claiming try doubles, while substitute centre Anton Lienert-Brown also touched down and fly-half Beauden Barrett kicked four conversions.
Josh Navidi stands dejected with New Zealand on top
Wales replied with tries for Scott Williams, who marked his 50th cap in style, and scrum-half Gareth Davies, plus eight Leigh Halfpenny points, yet a capacity 74,500 Principality Stadium crowd could not inspire the triumph they yearn for more than any other.
What they said
Wales head coach Warren Gatland: “Before the match, I said the big challenge for us was we had a good chance of winning if we were able to contain the pace and power of their wingers. Unfortunately, that was probably the difference between the two sides. They scored four tries between them. But there were a lot of good things that we did. We were up against a quality side, and we contributed a heck of a lot to a great Test match.” New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen: “Wales played particularly well. It was a good game of rugby, a great game of footy. They (Wales) are using the ball a lot more. They showed a lot of width, and had a couple of opportunities they didn’t finish. While they will be disappointed they lost the match, I think they will see they’ve got some light at the end of the tunnel for where they want to go.”
Tweet of the match
Star man – Ioane
The New Zealand wing could not be matched for pace and was a different class for the reigning world champions.
Moment of the match
A scintillating team try created after a searing break by Hallam Amos and finished off by Williams on the stroke of half-time put Wales within a point of the All Blacks following Halfpenny’s missed conversion. The Principality Stadium was jumping and home fans started to believe that maybe a victory could be on the cards. That was not to be, as New Zealand pulled away in the final quarter despite being starved of possession.
Thirty – that is now the number of defeats in a row for Wales against the All Blacks, making it 64 years and counting since their last win against them in 1953. It remains the longest losing run by any tier one team against a single opponent in Test history.
Wales: Leigh Halfpenny 7 (out of 10), Hallam Amos 7, Scott Williams 7, Owen Williams 7, Steff Evans 7, Dan Biggar 6, Rhys Webb 6, Rob Evans 8, Ken Owens 6, Tomas Francis 7, Jake Ball 6, Alun Wyn Jones 7, Aaron Shingler 7, Josh Navidi 9, Taulupe Faletau 7. Replacements: Gareth Davies 7.
Who’s up next?
Wales v South Africa (Saturday, December 2, Cardiff)
New Zealand v France (Saturday, June 9, 2018, Auckland)
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