All Blacks win, but at cost

By Mark Geenty of NZPA

Dunedin, June 19 NZPA – The All Blacks’ 42-9 win over Wales may have come at a cost, with lock Anthony Boric and Israel Dagg rated doubtful starters for next weekend’s second rugby test due to injuries.

Lock Boric was bound for hospital for x-rays on a cheek injury, while Dagg suffered concussion after also taking a heavy knock early in the second half. Both were replaced, by Sam Whitelock and Richard Kahui respectively.

“We’ve got one or two injuries; Anthony has got a cheek injury, we don’t know how serious it is. Israel has got a head injury and he’s not very well,” coach Graham Henry said.

“There’s one or two other knocks, but they’re the two that are particularly serious and could miss some rugby because of it.”

Otherwise, Henry was delighted with his side’s second half which saw them score 27 unanswered points with some stunning counter attack from Welsh errors in the final test to be played at Carisbrook.

Dan Carter crossed twice in his 27-point haul and Richie McCaw captained the side to victory for the 39th time in his 45th test in charge, drawing level with Sean Fitzpatrick’s record.

“It’s just a great way to farewell a great old ground. The crowd was superb and they got right behind the boys,” Henry said.

“They were quite superb in the second half and I was delighted with how they played in the second half.

“I thought the two leaders were outstanding, Richie and Daniel, they both had outstanding games. It’s a reflection on Richie’s leadership, 39 wins from 45 tests, it’s a pretty high percentage.”

Wales coach Warren Gatland reported hand injuries to first five-eighth Stephen Jones and centre Andrew Bishop who would both require x-rays to clear them for Saturday’s second test in Hamilton.

Gatland admitted to mixed feelings after his side flew into the test and were in the game at 15-9 down at halftime.

“The way we played in the first half, I was really pleased. We put the All Blacks under a lot of pressure. I thought they were outstanding in the second half, anything from turnovers or creating chances they punished us.”