Three things we learned from All Blacks v Wales, second test

By Cameron McMillan

Beauden Barrett put in a strong performance at first-five in the second half. Photo / Getty
Beauden Barrett put in a strong performance at first-five in the second half. Photo / Getty

Cameron McMillan looks at the three key things we learned from the All Blacks second test win over Wales at Westpac Stadium.

1. Barrett is more than an impact player

He's made a name for himself as the utility back who comes on late and cuts through tired legs. But with Aaron Cruden stretchered off in the 32nd minute, it gave Barrett a longer-than-usual stint on the field and also a decent chance at first-five. He led the direction of play, showed some creative kicking, a strong running game and, of course, his pace. He also worked well with Seta Tamanivalu outside him, a new combination that certainly impressed.

2. Ben Smith can play anywhere


Moving from fullback to wing didn't make any difference; Ben Smith was everywhere. He had a pretty quiet first half but you just can't keep him out of a test. He scored, almost set up another - but for the bounce of the ball - and led the way in metres gained and defenders beaten.

With Israel Dagg back to his best at fullback, Julian Savea may be worried ahead of the team to be named for next weekend's third test in Dunedin.

3. Wales do know it's an 80-minute game

The good news...Wales worked out the kinks from last week's defeat and ensured they finished the test strongly with two late tries. The bad news...They still put in a 60-minute performance after conceding three tries in the third quarter. The Welsh bounced back from the midweek defeat to the Chiefs to produce a strong first half, going in at halftime level 10-10. But like Eden Park they couldn't back it up in the second half.

- NZ Herald

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