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Savea: My job is to put a smile on people’s faces

Savea: My job is to put a smile on people’s faces

Ardie Savea

Ardie Savea believes his job is to put a smile on people’s faces and there will certainly have been a few All Black fans who enjoyed his stellar display in victory over Wales in Cardiff.

The New Zealand No.8 was a cut above in an eight-try 55-23 win at Principality Stadium, scoring one try, setting up two more and deservedly earning Player of the Match honours in the Autumn Nations Series clash.

He set his stall out early, with a turnover in his own territory, and his poaching skills were only matched by the ferociousness of his carries as Wales eventually ran out of steam trying to contain him.

While Aaron Smith, Codie Taylor and Jordie Barrett each grabbed two tries, it was Savea who was the standout to extend New Zealand’s winning streak to five, and their unbeaten run against Wales to 69 years.

And he revelled in the performance in the aftermath as the All Blacks prepare for further games against Scotland and England.

Savea said: “I’m just trying to have fun. I’m truly blessed to be here. My job is to put a smile on people’s faces and that’s my mindset when I played this game.

“We knew how tough Wales would be at home. We came here and wanted to put in a performance that we could be proud of. We still leaked a few points but we’ll take that and enjoy tonight.”

For Wales, there was a sense of frustration as they let New Zealand race into a 17-0 lead early on, only to battle back into it.

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Three times they drew back to within a score, only to concede almost immediately afterwards, and new skipper Justin Tipuric was left frustrated at his team’s inability to keep the pressure on when they did score points.

He said: “It was more like a yo-yo, we scored and they scored. That was the most frustrating thing about it. We would get back into the game and then we let them straight back in. There are a few things we need to tidy up.

“We knew coming into the game that they finish games strong so it was nothing that we didn’t expect. We’re just gutted that we didn’t put in plan what we wanted to do. All credit goes to New Zealand, it shows again that if you give them a sniff, they take the points.

“There are no excuses our end. We need to be a lot better than that. We’ve got three games coming up and we know we have to have a big reaction this week and we have to put it right for the next game.”

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