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Whitelock delighted with comfortable New Zealand win in Cardiff

Whitelock delighted with comfortable New Zealand win in Cardiff

Samuel Whitelock lines up for the national anthems

All Blacks captain Sam Whitelock was pleased with his side’s return to Europe after a three-year hiatus, as the opening weekend of the Autumn Nations Series got underway.

New Zealand defeated Wales 54-16 at the Principality Stadium, in their first match in the southern hemisphere since Autumn 2018.

The All Blacks scored seven tries in an impressive performance, including two from man of the match Beauden Barrett on his 100th appearance for his country.

Whitelock, in his 129th game for the All Blacks, revealed how attritional the game was and said: “I think tonight the Welsh boys they were big and physical, if you look at both sides there are a number of players with sore bodies and sore shoulders.

Beauden Barrett celebrates as he runs in a try on his 100th cap for the All Blacks

“I think Alun Wyn (Jones) and Brodie (Retallick) (are injured), so both teams will be sweating on their fitness in the next couple of days.

“But it just shows that it’s hard out there and that was the big thing, we knew that the Welsh team were going to come out here and play but also they were going to be hard and physical and that’s what we got.”

Barrett scored a brace of interceptions, including the opener after three minutes, on the night he became an All Black centurion and Whitelock could not have been more complimentary about his fly-half.

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He added: “I thought Beaudie played outstandingly, and his little brother (Jordie) was pretty good too.

“I think If you look at Beaudie, you see the quality of the man on a special occasion, 100 test matches, when I did and all other guys did it, it was a massive occasion.

“For Beaudie to go out there and get us on the front foot straight away with seven points under the sticks, it just shows what his preparation is like and that’s the reason he has played 100 and he’s played 100 at a really, really high level.

“It felt like we were getting a bit of control there and once we got out a bit, scoreboard pressure is an amazing thing.”

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