Wales 17-40 New Zealand

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New Zealand steamrollered an under-strength Wales side to earn third place in the Rugby World Cup and give Warren Gatland a defeat in his last game in charge of the men in red.

Physical encounters against France in the quarter-final and South Africa in the semi-final had left Wales counting the cost on injuries going into the game with nine changes to the starting XV as Gatland had a squad of just 26 to select the matchday 23 from.

The changes and the intensity of New Zealand were too much to deal with early on, as first some slick hands released loosehead prop Joe Moody to barrel over from 30 metres, and then a nice switch line from Beauden Barrett opened up a lead.

Wales did manage to get back into the game as the first half reached its midway point though, when a terrific miss-pass from Rhys Patchell allowed Hallam Amos to dummy and go over for a try, but any hope of competing was quickly diminished when Ben Smith beat four defenders too easily to score under the posts.

A Patchell penalty added another three for Wales but Smith was on hand to finish well again, this time out wide, as New Zealand took a 28-10 lead in at the break.

The All Blacks were in no mood to hang around at the start of the second half either, when Sonny Bill Williams produced a trademark offload for centre partner Ryan Crotty to score.

Josh Adams added to his impressive Rugby World Cup tally with a try from close range but Richie Mo’unga’s try rounded off the scoring as New Zealand secured the 40-17 victory.

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