CRUNCHING THE NUMBERS AHEAD OF THE THIRD RUGBY UNION TEST BETWEEN NEW ZEALAND AND WALES
SATURDAY, JUNE 25, 7.35pm
All Blacks v Wales at Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Head to Head: All Blacks 29 Wales 3
Last clash: All Blacks 36 Wales 22, at Westpac Stadium, June 18, 2016
The All Blacks have looked a class above the tourists when the second-half afterburners are activated. However, Wales may regard New Zealand’s five starting changes and overhaul of the bench as a potential fissure to expose. Their last match of a long season, the Welshmen have nothing to lose but may struggle to keep pace in what is sure to be a lightning-quick Test under Dunedin’s roof.
Keys: The All Blacks will seek a way to win cleaner ruck ball, having been clogged throughout the first half in both Auckland and Wellington. Playmaker Beauden Barrett’s ability to control a Test from the outset is critical, along with a seamless step up from debut flanker Elliot Dixon and one-Test centre George Moala.
NEW ZEALAND: Israel Dagg, Ben Smith, George Moala, Ryan Crotty, Julian Savea, Beauden Barrett, Aaron Smith, Kieran Read (capt), Sam Cane, Elliot Dixon, Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick, Charlie Faumuina, Dane Coles, Joe Moody. Reserves: Codie Taylor, Wyatt Crockett, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Luke Romano, Liam Squire, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Lima Sopoaga, Waisake Naholo.
WALES: Rhys Patchell, Liam Williams, Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts, Hallam Amos, Dan Biggar, Rhys Webb, Taulupe Faletau, Sam Warburton (capt), Ross Moriarty, Alun Wyn Jones, Luke Charteris, Tomas Francis, Ken Owens, Rob Evans. Reserves: Scott Baldwin, Aaron Jarvis, Samson Lee, Jake Ball, Ellis Jenkins, Gareth Davies, Rhys Priestland, Scott Williams.
Referee: Jerome Garces (France)
Tip: All Blacks by 15 points