Saturday, November 7, 2009

Rugby Test: New Zealand Begin Tour Against Wales

New Zealand v Wales in Cardiff

Venue: Millennium Stadium

Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)

There was a time long ago when these two teams were deadly foe. Those days have long long gone and now traditionally New Zealand beats Wales, and usually wins easily. Is this the case tomorrow in Wales?

Wales has injury problems. British & Irish Lions Lee Byrne, Mike Phillips, Adam Jones, Ian Evans and Gavin Henson are all out for the series or unavailable for this match. Their forward pack has a brittleness about it and James Hook is out of position at fullback.

New Zealand is approaching the form that is always expected of it. The return of Dan Carter as put new life into a team that has generally performed below its best. Despite some players being either suspended or rested after the Tokyo test against Australia, New Zealand looks to be too strong, again, against Wales.

Last Five Encounters
22.11.2009 New Zealand 29-9 in Cardiff
25.11.2006 New Zealand 45-10 in Cardiff
05.11.2005 New Zealand 41-5 in Cardiff
20.11.2004 New Zealand 26-25 in Cardiff
02.11.2003 New Zealand 53-37 in Sydney (World Cup, Pool D)

Wales last defeated New Zealand in 1953, 56 years ago.

GWC Rugby Rankings: World Table-New Zealand 2nd, Wales 8th

Prediction: New Zealand by 10 points.



15 James Hook
14 Leigh Halfpenny
13 Tom Shanklin
12 Jamie Roberts
11 Shane Williams
10 Stephen Jones
9 Gareth Cooper
8 Ryan Jones (capt)
7 Martyn Williams
6 Andy Powell
5 Luke Charteris
4 Alun-Wyn Jones
3 Paul James
2 Matthew Rees
1 Gethin Jenkins
16 Huw Bennett
17 Duncan Jones
18 Bradley Davies
19 Dafydd Jones
20 Martin Roberts
21 Jonathan Davies
22 Tom James
Head Coach: Warren Gatland


New Zealand
15 Mils Muliaina
14 Cory Jane
13 Conrad Smith
12 Ma'a Nonu
11 Zachery Guildford
10 Daniel Carter
9 Brendan Leonard
8 Kieran Read
7 Richie McCaw (capt)
6 Jerome Kaino
5 Jason Eaton
4 Bradley Thorn
3 Neemia Tialata
2 Andrew Hore
1 Wyatt Crockett.
16 Corey Flynn
17 Owen Franks
18 Thomas Donnelly
19 Adam Thomson
20 James Cowan
21 Stephen Donald
22 Benjamin Smith
Head Coach: Graham Henry

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