New Zealand defeated Wales 40-17 in the Bronze Final at Tokyo Stadium, Tokyo on Friday, 1 November. The All Blacks had a 28-10 lead at the break.
The match saw New Zealand starting many players who have worn the All Blacks jersey for many tests. Impending retirements of several of the players from test rugby was already decided.
Wales started many players, who would play in future Rugby World Cups, taking the pitch under the leadership of captain Alun Wyn Jones.
Following a Wales penalty for not rolling away, Richie Mo’unga bounced the ball off the right post. Rhys Patchell cleared for Wales and the All Blacks counterattacked with Joe Moody finishing with a try. Mo’unga then slotted the extras for a 7-0 lead.
Beauden Barrett added a second try from a switch initiated by Aaron Smith with Mo’unga converting to push the lead to 14-0.
Wales answered back after going through phases getting the ball wide right for a Hallam Amos try with Rhys Patchell adding the extras to cut the lead to 14-7.
Following an All Blacks penalty for hands in at the breakdown, Patchell added a penalty goal to narrow the lead to 14-10.
New Zealand countered with an attack from a ruck that resulted in a try by Ben Smith with Mo’unga adding the extras, 21-10.
Wales went through 11 phases in the final minutes before a Ken Owens penalty for leading with his arm, turnover the ball over to New Zealand. The All Blacks countered with a pass by Aaron Smith to Ben Smith for a try in the right corner. Richie Mo’unga curled the ball through the posts for a 28-10 lead at the break.
New Zealand kept up the momentum stealing a lineout throw with Sonny Bill Williams offloading to Ryan Crotty for a try. Mo’unga added the extras to lead 35-10.
The All Blacks pushed the ball wide left with Ben Smith grounding for a hat trick apparent try. The TMO ruled the ball went forward and resulted in a scrum to Wales.
Wales went through 15 phases with a penalty advantage for a high tackle allowing them to reset from a scrum. Nineteen phases later, Josh Adams scored his 7th try in the Rugby World Cup to lead all try-scorers. Dan Biggar added the conversion to cut the lead to 35-17.
New Zealand added another try from a 5-meter scrum with Richie Mo’unga going blind for the try to push the lead to 40-17 in the 77th minute.
The All Blacks closed out the match to claim Bronze at the 2019 Rugby World Cup. It left Hansen with his 93rd and final victory in 107 tests.
Kieran Read, who played in his127th test, Ben Smith, Ryan Crotty, and likely Sonny Bill Williams played their final match for the All Blacks.
Wales head coach Warren Gatland also leaves Wales and Alun Wyn Jones, who played in his 142 test, may as well.
Brodie Retallick was named Player of the Match. He ran for 35 meters, had 10 carries, made 18 tackles and had 1 try assist.
Squads & Match Preview
New Zealand: 1. Joe Moody 2. Dane Coles 3. Nepo Laulala 4. Brodie Retallick 5. Scott Barrett 6. Shannon Frizell 7. Sam Cane 8. Kieran Read (capt.) 9. Aaron Smith 10. Richie Mo’unga 11. Rieko Ioane 12. Sonny Bill Williams 13. Ryan Crotty 14. Ben Smith 15. Beauden Barrett 16. Liam Coltman 17. Atu Moli 18. Angus Ta’avao 19. Patrick Tuipulotu 20. Matt Todd 21. Brad Weber 22. Anton Lienert-Brown 23. Jordie Barrett
Wales: 1. Nicky Smith 2. Ken Owens 3. Dillon Lewis 4. Adam Beard 5. Alun Wyn Jones (capt.) 6. Justin Tipuric 7. James Davies 8. Ross Moriarty 9. Tomos Williams 10. Rhys Patchell 11. Josh Adams 12. Owen Watkin 13. Jonathan Davies 14. Owen Lane 15. Hallam Amos 16. Elliot Dee 17. Rhys Carre 18. Wyn Jones 19. Jake Ball 20. Aaron Shingler 21. Gareth Davies 22. Dan Biggar 23. Hadleigh Parkes
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistants Referees: Jaco Peyper (South Africa), Pascal Gaüzère (France)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)