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Rupert Wyman 6th Nov 2009 - 19:15

Wales' wait for a win to continue

Wales have not beaten New Zealand for nearly 56 years and they fancy their chances of doing so on Saturday at the Millennium Stadium.

Wales' coach Warren Gatland has been talking up his side's chances of defeating his native country. He believes the All Blacks have lost their aura of invincibility; however, he could be in for a rude awakening in Cardiff.

The All Blacks defeated Australia in Tokyo last week and they looked near their best as they ran out 32-19 winners. The biggest news to come out of the match was the injury to star man Dan Carter.

Nevertheless, Carter has been named in Graham Henry's starting XV and if doesn't withdraw late on then he will be instrumental to New Zealand's chances - I would even go as far to say that if he plays, the All Blacks will win and justify their short 1/4 price.

If he doesn't, then Wales will have a chance of causing a shock at 11/4, but even then the home side will have to play to their very best.

Also, as a result of the match against the Wallabies, New Zealand are without the suspended duo of Tony Woodcock and Sitiveni Sivivatu.

Zac Guildford replaces the latter on the left wing and he has been a man in form this season for Hawke's Bay. As a result he looks a cracking bet at 11/1 to score the first try or alternatively 15/8 to score a try at any point during the match.

The main handicap line gives Wales a ten point-start but, with try scorers of the quality of Guildford and Mils Muliaina among others, I think the All Blacks will defy the handicap.

New Zealand's position as favourites is also enhanced as Wales are missing a few of their better players, most notably Lee Byrne and Mike Phillips.

James Hook has been given the role of full back and you can expect him to be tested early on under the high ball as this could be an area of weakness.

If he doesn't deal with the high ball then Wales will be in severe trouble and the All Blacks could run riot.

Regardless I am expecting Wales' losing run against the All Blacks to continue and in the process Dan Carter to pass Andrew Mehrten's All Blacks Test points record of 967. Carter is currently 15 points short of the record, so if he plays to his usual high standards then he should pass the mark.



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