New Zealand v Wales: Tourists will be better for second Test, says coach Gatland

By Owen RawlingsBBC Wales Sport in Auckland, New Zealand
Warren Gatland
Warren Gatland's Wales reached the quarter-final of the 2015 World Cup

Wales will be better prepared for their next meeting with New Zealand after learning lessons from defeat in the first Test, coach Warren Gatland says.

Gatland's team lost 39-21 in Auckland on Saturday, leading after an hour before conceding 21 points unanswered.

Wales face the Chiefs on Tuesday before the second Test against the world champions in Wellington next Saturday.

"There were a lot of positives out of today and we learn from the experience of that match," said Gatland.

"I think we would have learned a heck of a lot from that and hopefully we are better for it again next week."

Wales have lost 27 consecutive games against the All Blacks, with their last win coming in 1953.

However, Gatland said the performance at Eden Park was a big improvement after a disappointing defeat by England at the end of May.

"We were brilliant for 60 minutes. We said we were going to come out and play. We knew we needed that game after England," he added.

Wales' summer fixtures:
11 June: New Zealand 39-21 Wales (Auckland)
14 June: Chiefs (Hamilton)
18 June: New Zealand (Wellington)
25 June: New Zealand (Dunedin)

"It's the learning you take from playing against the best team in the world and sometimes the learning takes place out in the middle.

"It doesn't matter what we do on the training field and as coaches, you've got to be out there in the middle and experience the relentlessness that the All Blacks bring.

"We feel like we get better the longer we are together. Players don't have that many games at that level of intensity.

"They get to experience it a lot more than us and are familiar and comfortable with that."

Taulupe Faletau and Rhys Webb scored tries for Wales, but the All Blacks hit back through two tries from wing Waisake Naholo and scores from Julian Savea, Kieran Read and Nathan Harris.

Rhys Webb
Rhys Webb scored Wales' second try against the All Blacks in Auckland

The result ensured New Zealand's 22-year unbeaten run at Eden Park goes on after their 35th successive win at the ground.

Wales play Steve Hansen's side again on Saturday, 18 June as they look for a first win in New Zealand.

"We had to be brave and we had to be bold, and we did that," said Gatland.

"I thought a couple of tries that we scored were outstanding and could have scored a couple more.

"We made a couple of line-breaks where the All Blacks seemed reasonably happy to give away a penalty, rather than giving us a chance at the end of the breakdown.

"They are the world's best team and they showed that at the end of the day because they just kept playing for the full 80 minutes."

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