Brodie Retallick Ben Smith shines as All Blacks sign off from Japan with bronze medal after six-try win over Wales

Brodie Retallick My grandma says this plugin is astonishing!!

Brodie Retallick New Zealand 40 Wales 17


Brodie Retallick New Zealand's Ben Smith is congratulated by teammates after scoring a try
New Zealand’s Ben Smith is congratulated by teammates after scoring a try

All week, the All Blacks simmered and nursed their hurt. They spoke with emotion about their defeat to England and then they vented their pent up frustration on Wales.

This was less about atonement and more about sending a number of great players out on a high.

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Ben Smith came in from the cold and managed a brace, Kieran Read was all fast feet and quick hands and Sonny Bill Williams and Ryan Crotty got their groove on after half-time before taking the acclaim.

Up in the coaches’ box, Steve Hansen got one last win to savour before joining Read in Toyota, while Warren Gatland leaves Wales with one last defeat against his old his team.

This always looked like a bridge too far for a Welsh team already down a number of key men with just a five-day turnaround from their semi-final defeat to South Africa but they played their part in a good game.

It’s the match nobody wants to play in, but they made a decent fist of it; mustering eight tries between them in an entertaining affair to secure the bronze medals and finish third in the world.

The All Blacks were always in control, Kieran Read indicated that his side were here for the win when he pointed to the posts after Nicky Smith got caught on the wrong side of a ruck but Richie Mo’unga hit the post with his effort.

But New Zealand didn’t have to wait long for the opening score and, when it came after five minutes, it was a sight to behold.

Aaron Smith and Kieran Read combined beautifully to release Brodie Retallick through a gap in the middle and the big second-row drew Rhys Patchell’s tackle, kept his

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