Ben Smith Sport24.co.za | All Blacks give retiring legends winning send-off

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Tokyo -Veteran winger Ben Smith scored a classy try double asNew Zealand
beatWales40-17 to clinch third spot at the Rugby World Cup on Friday
in the perfect send-off for storied coach Steve Hansen.

In what
was the final Test for both Hansen and Wales counterpart Warren Gatland,
after seven and 12 years at their respective helms, both sides produced
an entertaining encounter that saw New Zealand outscore the Welsh by
six tries to two.

The result means New Zealand have won 32 of
their 35 meetings with Wales, last losing in 1953, while Hansen’s
incredible record includes just 10 defeats in 107 Tests in charge.

“It
was just important we come back and honoured the jersey and our fans
and get over the disappointment of last week,” said Hansen, referring to
the semi-final defeat by England.

“Tough old game for both sides and just want to congratulate Wales too because I know they’ll be feeling a bit at the moment.”

Gatland,
under whose charge Wales have won 85 of their 151 Tests – but have
lost all 12 matches against his native New Zealand – might have joked
that it would have been better to settle the play-off by a drinking
game, but both teams showed intent on the pitch.

“Our boys never
gave up and kept trying to play some good rugby in the se

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