A second test defeat was always likely, particularly if you look at the form books but Wales still could have performed better. The All Blacks looked a little unimaginative and may I be so bold as to say hesitant?
In the dying seconds the score sat at a perfectly respectable 22 – 10, a score many Welshmen would have bitten arms off to take prior to kick-off, but a slip from Byrne was gratefully pounced on by Cruden for a late try that was a little hard to swallow.
The effort by the Welsh was considerable but I couldn’t help but feel that there was a little more to come. Like many of my school reports, ‘Could do better’ summed it up nicely, but surprisingly more so for the home nation.
As to the ref, Caplan, I’ll say no more other than he listened to the crowd way too much and even the Kiwi supporters detest his refereeing style, which went a long way to ruining an otherwise good game of rugby.
The third half result was more even, with the Welsh fans just sneaking a glorious victory by drinking Hamilton dry of Guinness. A great night was had by all and one I hope to repeat next year at the Rugby World Cup 2011, here in New Zealand.
An honourable mention must go the Waikato stadium grounds staff. Despite the constant rain in the run up the the match, the pitch held firm and looked great. The folks responsible for the joke at the Etihad stadium could learn a thing or two.