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Devastating All Blacks complete series victory over plucky Wales

The sides were level at the break.

New Zealand perform the Haka Source: Photosport/Chris Symes/INPHO

ISRAEL DAGG AND Ben Smith scored tries on their 50th appearance for New Zealand as the world champions beat Wales 36-22 in a pulsating second Test at the Westpac Stadium to seal a series victory.

Wales had threatened to pull off a first triumph over the All Blacks since 1953 last weekend before eventually going down 39-21 and Steve Hansen’s side produced a ruthless second-half display on Saturday to take an unassailable 2-0 lead.

Alun Wyn Jones’ converted try just before half-time ensured the two sides were locked at 10-10 at the break after recalled full-back Dagg had touched down in his first international since July.

New Zealand turned on the style after the break, with the outstanding Beauden Barrett scoring a try and pulling the strings on his home ground after replacing Aaron Cruden, who was taken to hospital for precautionary scans having suffered what appeared to be a neck injury in the first half.

Waisake Naholo Source: Photosport/Chris Symes/INPHO

Barrett also laid on a try for Ben Smith before Waisake Naholo went over and Ardie Savea scored a magnificent fifth try, with late scores from Liam Williams and Jonathan Davies unable to stop Wales from suffering a 28th consecutive defeat against the All Blacks.

Dan Biggar nailed a penalty from around 40 metres to put Wales in front after 15 minutes, but the hosts responded in ominous fashion with a brilliantly worked opening try from Dagg.

Naholo raced away down the left wing and earned a penalty, which New Zealand kicked to the corner before Aaron Smith looped a long pass to Malakai Fekitoa and he gave Dagg the opportunity to power his way over.

Cruden converted to put Hansen’s side 7-3 up after 22 minutes and slotted over a penalty 10 minutes before the break, but the fly-half was replaced by Barrett soon after being carted off following lengthy treatment.

Wales were giving a good account of themselves in a tight first half and they were level at 10-10 at half-time after Jones was on hand to pluck a pass from Davies out of the air and finish in the corner, with Biggar expertly converting.

Normal service was resumed after the break, though, as the impressive Barrett evaded tackles from Davies and Jamie Roberts before whipping a pass out for Ben Smith to race away for the All Blacks’ second try.

inpho_01074352 Ben Smith, Kieran Read & Israel Dagg with the Steinlager Trophy. Source: Photosport/Chris Symes/INPHO

The Hurricanes playmaker added one of his after 54 minutes following a powerful scrum and Naholo was left with a simple finish on the blindside after a clever quick pass from captain Kieran Read.

Savea rounded off a brilliant move which involved some slick passing from inside the New Zealand half and Barrett added a third conversion.

Wales refused to throw the towel in and Williams sprinted away for their second try before Davies completed the scoring by forcing his way over, but the damage had already been done and New Zealand will attempt to complete a whitewash in Dunedin next weekend.

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