Wales eye maiden away victory
June 16, 2010
Will there be more misery for Wales in 2010? © Getty Images
Wales have travelled to New Zealand with the monkey still on their back, and no win over the All Blacks since 1953. On Saturday they will take on their hosts in the final Test match at Carisbrook in Dunedin, with the home side keen to see off the old girl in style.
Last November Wales fell 19-12 in Cardiff after Alun-Wyn Jones' interception had fizzled out, while the All Blacks are in buoyant form after routing Ireland last weekend in New Plymouth. Despite losing their last two fixtures at Carisbrook, to France in 2009 and South Africa in 2008, they have an enviable record at the ground having played 36, won 30, lost five and drawn one.
Dating back to Bleddyn Williams leading Wales to victory at the National Stadium in 1953, the All Blacks' winning sequence has established a vice-like grip on the fixture. Welsh fans and players alike have turned up to the fixture in hope more than expectation and have continually been disappointed.
In 2004 Wales came closest to that watershed victory, losing by a single point at the Millennium Stadium, but that was followed by a humiliating 41-3 defeat a year later with the hosts the reigning Grand Slam champions. Wales' recent tours to New Zealand have also been disastrous, with a score of 55-3 returned in 2003 and 54-9 and 52-3 in 1988. In 1969 the tourists were nilled, 19-0, in Christchurch.
Wales v New Zealand Match Stats
Played 25; Wales won three; New Zealand won 22
First Test: Wales 3-0 New Zealand, National Stadium, Cardiff, December 16, 1905
Latest Test: Wales 19-12 New Zealand, Millennium Stadium, November 7, 2009
Wales' largest winning margin: Five points - Wales 13-8, National Stadium, Cardiff, December 19, 1953
New Zealand's largest winning margin: 52 points - New Zealand 55-3 Wales, Waikato Stadium, June 21, 2003
New Zealand winning sequence: 20 Tests, December 21, 1963 to present day
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September