New Zealand 36-22 Wales: All Blacks second-half blitz sees off gallant Welsh in Wellington

New Zealand claimed a 36-22 victory over Wales at the Westpac Stadium to claim an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series

New Zealand 36-22 Wales: All Blacks second-half blitz sees off gallant Welsh in Wellington
Waisake Naholo touches down in Wellington (image via: getty)

New Zealand claimed an unassailable 2-0 lead in their series with Wales, after winning 36-22 at the Westpac Stadium

A 15-minute blitz after the break saw the All Blacks score four tries to turn the game in their favour after the sides had been locked level at 10-10.

Steve Hansen's men weren't at their best for large periods of the game, but have locked up the series win with one game remaining in Dunedin next Saturday. 

New Zealand celebrate Israel Dagg's try (image via: Getty)

Scrappy first half sees sides head to the break level

Having made two changes to the starting lineup which prevailed last week, it was one of the new men who got the ball rolling for New Zealand. 

Following a couple of injury-ravaged seasons, Israel Dagg had become a forgotten man, yet this season for the Crusaders he has been in sparkling form which led to his international recall. Gaining his 50th cap in the process, Dagg scored the first try of the game following a pass from Malakai Fekitoa close to the Welsh line. 

Defence from both sides then came to the fore, with some brutal hits going in. The home side felt the worst of them, with Fekitoa and Aaron Cruden forced to leave the field, and Cruden headed to hospital with a neck injury.

Dagg's try was as good as it got though for the Kiwis before the break, with Wales showing great skills to control the ball for large periods. Their pressure finally paid off in the dying moments of the first half, when a Jonathan Davies break finally led to the ball being sent wide into the arms of Alun-Wyn Jones who dotted down in the corner. 

All Blacks score four tries in 12 minutes to claim series victory

Heading back onto the field all-square, the second-half was always going to be a question of whether Wales could live with the pressure of claiming a win on Kiwi soil. 

Any chance of that happening came to an end in a stunning period of play from the New Zealanders which saw them cross for four unanswered tries. 

New Zealand celebrate Beauden Barrett's try (image via: getty)

Substitute Beauden Barrett was the main man for the Kiwis, with his play with ball-in-hand a sight to behold at times. His first major mark on the game saw him break the Welsh line before sending the ball wide to try-scorer Ben Smith, before Barrett crossed himself just moments later after stretching over the line. 

The dominance continued in Wellington, and from the back of a scrum, Kieran Read and Aaron Smith linked up excellently from the base before the ball came wide to Waisake Naholo who strolled over untouched for another try in his fledging Test career. 

Hansen's men saved the best till last, and their fifth and final try was scored by a popular figure in Wellington. Following exquisite hands, the hosts broke from their own 22 metre line, before Naholo delivered a pass to young Hurricanes flanker Ardie Savea, who had enough pace to cross for a magnificent team try. 

Ardie Savea on the charge against Wales (image via: getty)

Wales finished with a flourish, scoring the final two tries of the game through Liam Williams and Davies, but it was not enough to claim a famous win. They must now return to the drawing board, and find a way to avoid suffering a whitewash in next weekend's final Test of the series at Forsyth Barr Stadium.