sport news New Zealand 40-17 Wales: Ben Smith scores two tries in Rugby World Cup ...

sonos sonos One (Gen 2) - Voice Controlled Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa Built-in - Black read more

So this largely went as predicted.

The game no one wants to play was won by New Zealand. They scored lots of tries, angry after being dumped out of the World Cup last week by England, and Wales did what they could with their patched-up XV but lost against them for the 31st consecutive Test.

Still no win against New Zealand since 1953.

It means Warren Gatland's Welsh tenure ends with two defeats, which it did not really deserve to, and that Steve Hansen's time with New Zealand finishes with a 93rd victory from 106 internationals, which was entirely expected.

Those two greats of the game move on from here - Gatland to New Zealand, Hansen back to Japan after some time off - and so do a number of players.

Kieran Read, Ben Smith, Sonny Bill Williams, Ryan Crotty, and - at the World Cup at least - Alun Wyn Jones. All took their applause as they were rightly heralded in the game no one should be made to play.

Wales looked knackered playing just five days since their brutal semi-final defeat against South Africa but it was a good effort to drag themselves through this.

There were yet more injury worries for them, as Rhys Patchell had to retire from the game early with an arm injury.

Departing Wales head coach Warren Gatland (left) and New Zealand counterpart Steve Hansen (right) chat before the match

Departing Wales head coach Warren Gatland (left) and New Zealand counterpart Steve Hansen (right) chat before the match

Before kick-off, New Zealand perfomed their traditional Haka - which Wales observed side-by-side instead of in a V-formation

Before kick-off, New Zealand perfomed their traditional Haka - which Wales observed side-by-side instead of in a V-formation

Wales wing Josh Adams makes an early dart through the New Zealand defence during the third-fourth play-off in Yokohama

Wales wing Josh Adams makes an early dart through the New Zealand defence during the third-fourth play-off in Yokohama

Scrum-half Aaron Smith clears his lines with a box-kick as New Zealand are under some early pressure from the Welsh

Scrum-half Aaron Smith clears his lines with a box-kick as New Zealand are under some early pressure from the Welsh

However, the All Blacks showed their attacking prowess straight away when prop Joe Moody spotted a gap to run clear

However, the All Blacks showed their attacking prowess straight away when prop Joe Moody spotted a gap to run clear

The 31-year-old fended off the challenge of Wales full-back Hallam Amos to score the opening try of the encounter

The 31-year-old fended off the challenge of Wales full-back Hallam Amos to score the opening try of the encounter

The All Blacks soon added a second try when Beauden Barrett ran in unopposed to score just a few minutes later

The All Blacks soon added a second try when Beauden Barrett ran in unopposed to score just a few minutes later

Josh Adams did well - as ever - and looked desperate to score again in his brilliant World Cup.

He did just after the hour mark to take his seventh of the tournament; no Welshman has scored more as he beat Shane Williams' tally of six from 2007. One for now as well as the future, along with Elliot Dee, Dillon Lewis, Tomos Williams and Adam Beard, who will surely all be back for more come 2023.

But as much as that was nice for Adams this was all rather flat and pointless - twas ever thus with these meaningless games at the end of the World Cup.

Even Welsh skipper Jones was taken off before the end, which barely ever happens.

New Zealand never feel like they should be in these games, but having been smashed to bits by England they had to crack on with it.

Wales fly-half Rhys Patchell (centre) tries to run through the New Zealand locks of Brodie Retallick (left) and Scott Barrett

Wales fly-half Rhys Patchell (centre) tries to run through the New Zealand locks of Brodie Retallick (left) and Scott Barrett

Despite New Zealand's early dominance, Wales responded with a try on their own when Amos dived over from close range

Despite New Zealand's early dominance, Wales responded with a try on their own when Amos dived over from close range

Patchell, who impressed with boot from hand, added the conversion and then this penalty to reduce the scoreline to 14-10

Patchell, who impressed with boot from hand, added the conversion and then this penalty to reduce the scoreline to 14-10

Adams tries to run through Barrett as Wales continue to have momentum on their side midway through the first half

Adams tries to run through Barrett as Wales continue to

read more from dailymail.....

Get the latest news delivered to your inbox

Follow us on social media networks

PREV sport news Lucas Moura's welcomes Jose Mourinho after 'worn out' relationship with ...
NEXT sport news Tahith Chong the next Manchester United starlet on Juventus' list with ...