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All Blacks crush tired Wales in third Test

NZN 24/06/2016 By Daniel Gilhooly

The Welsh dam has finally burst as the All Blacks romped to a 46-6 win in Dunedin to sweep their three-Test series.

The world champions unleashed their attacking weapons in compelling style on Saturday night, scoring six unanswered tries against a Wales side who looked out on their feet.

While the tourists were competitive in the first two Tests, they were no match for New Zealand's speed and willingness to counter-attack.

Outstanding fullback Israel Dagg, winger Ben Smith and centre George Moala ran amok, while Beauden Barrett thrived in a rare start at fly-half, scoring two tries in a 26-point haul.

Wales had more possession but nothing like the same potency, paying for a creaky defensive line and a back-pedalling scrum.

It was their heaviest loss to New Zealand since 2003 and continues a 63-year winless streak.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen reserved praise for Dagg, whose sizzling form is a contrast from a year ago, when he missed World Cup selection.

"We kept telling you guys he's a world-class player and I'm not sure you believed us up until now but maybe you will again," he said.

"Izzy's back to the player that we know he can be and when he's like that, he's world class."

Wales counterpart Warren Gatland admitted his side had no answer to the speed of the home side's back three.

"Their counter-attacking was absolutely superb. That'll be a big work-on for us," he said.

"We'll take away a lot of lessons. We need to make sure we apply that when we're back together."

The All Blacks forged their first halftime lead of the series at 18-6, an advantage they were never likely to squander against opponents playing their 18th game in 10 months.

Wales were 6-3 up after 20 minutes, courtesy of two penalties to Dan Biggar, before the All Blacks found some rhythm.

Smith scored a contentious first try in the right corner, dotting down just as his knee hit the touchline.

There was no doubt about the second to powerhouse Blues back Moala in just his second Test, capitalising on another Dagg bust.

Barrett virtually sealed Wales' fate when he spun through Biggar's tackle to score a simple try soon after the break.

Flanker Sam Cane was shown a yellow card for repeat infringements but once he returned Barrett bagged his second try.

Hooker Dane Coles powered over from a Cane short ball and Dagg had the last say after the final hooter, racing 80m.

The Test ticked several boxes for the All Blacks, who fielded three debut forwards in Elliot Dixon, Liam Squire and Ofa Tu'ungafasi, while several other fringe players had game time.

Their players will return to Super Rugby, two months out from a Rugby Championship opener against Australia in Sydney.

World No.6 Wales end a gruelling tour with four losses, including an embarrassing midweek thumping from the Chiefs.

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