(CNN)New Zealand ended its Rugby World Cup campaign on a conciliatory high by beating Wales 40-17 in the third-place playoff match at the International Stadium in Yokohama.
All Blacks run rampant against Wales to end Rugby World Cup on a high
The All Blacks picked themselves up after the mauling they received at the hands of England in last week's semifinal and scored six tries to Wales' two in a characteristically clinical display.
Two tries from Ben Smith as well as scores from Tom Moody, Beauden Barrett, Ryan Crotty and Richie Mo'unga saw the men in black maintain their unbeaten run against Wales stretching back to 1953.
For its part, Wales was bold and ambitious whenever it had possession. A try apiece from Hallam Amos and Josh Adams meant this injury-stricken team could at least sign off on the tournament with some positivity.
"I'm immensely proud," Kieran Read said in the post match interview, the last one as All Blacks captain. "This jersey means a lot. It's been part of my life for a long time. It dictates that you try and leave it in a better place than when you found it. That was my aim in my entire career and hopefully I've done that."
New Zealand exploded out of the blocks and crossed the line inside five minutes. Prop Moody's marauding run set the tone before Barrett scythed his way through the Welsh defence to dot down under the posts on 13 minutes. Mo'unga converted twice and inside a quarter of an hour, Wales was 14-0 down.
The men in red roused themselves from their inertia — partly the result of a spate of unfortunate injuries, partly from the bruising 19-16 semifinal defeat by South Africa last Sunday — and registered their first score on 19 minutes. A slick back line move following 15 phases gave fullback Amos a gap in the line to score. Rhys Patchell kicked the conversion, as well as a penalty, and Wales were back in it.
But New Zealand has gears that others can't reach, and it effortlessly ramped up the intensity. Smith, playing his final game for the All Blacks, scored two tries before the end of the first half. His second just before the gong was preceded by a disdainful hand off in the face of Wales' scrumhalf Tomos Williams.
The teams headed into the break with New Zealand 28-10 ahead with all signs pointing to a rout.