Brodie Retallick All Blacks v Wales: Ben Smith shines as departing stars secure bronze medal

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Brodie Retallick Retiring All Blacks wing Ben Smith goes over to score his second and his team's fourth try against Wales.

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Retiring All Blacks wing Ben Smith goes over to score his second and his team’s fourth try against Wales.

Don’t let anyone cluck their tongue and ask why the All Blacks didn’t play like this against England in the Rugby World Cup semifinal.

If they do, kindly ask the wise owl to either stop putting so much vodka in their tea cup or close the door on the way out of the room.

Brodie Retallick All Blacks captain Kieran Read, right, delivers some on-field instructions during his farewell appearance.

MICHAEL STEELE/GETTY IMAGES

All Blacks captain Kieran Read, right, delivers some on-field instructions during his farewell appearance.

The 40-17 win over Wales in the bronze final in Tokyo on Friday night ensured the All Blacks presented coach Steve Hansen and captain Kieran Read with a suitable farewell gift, but don’t try saying it helps erase the pain of losing to England in Yokohama last weekend.

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No way. The All Blacks came to this tournament in Japan to retain the Webb Ellis Cup, not earn praise for putting on a jolly good show in the third-fourth playoff game.

Brodie Retallick Ben Smith celebrates his stunning solo try with All Blacks team-mates Aaron Smith and Richie Mo'Unga.

HANNAH PETERS/GETTY IMAGES

Ben Smith celebrates his stunning solo try with All Blacks team-mates Aaron Smith and Richie Mo’Unga.

And that was what it was. A good show. Wales did their bit, too, to make it an entertaining spectacle but they didn’t come close to bringing the intensity, physicality and attitude that England in defence did last weekend.

That was the difference. There was so much on the line in Yokohama that you could almost feel the air crackle with tension; there no way the All Blacks would have been allowed to play with such freedom by the English.

Brodie Retallick Veteran All Blacks centre Ryan Crotty touches down to score his side's fifth try on his farewell appearance.

HANNAH PETERS/GETTY IMAGES

Veteran All Blacks centre Ryan Crotty touches down to score his side’s fifth try on his farewell appearance.

At Tokyo Stadium it was like watching a Barbarians game, as if both sets of players wanted to bid goodbye to their travelling supporters by ensuring they had something to talk about as travelled back to their digs on the Keio railway line.

Credit to Wales. They wanted to show their appreciation to a couple of big names, also.

Captain and lock Alun Wyn Jones, a player possibly not given as much respect as he deserves in the southern hemisphere, was signing off at the end of a long career and coach Warren Gatland was heading back to his native New Zealand to coach the Chiefs.

So the Welsh al

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