Wales suffer double blow down under
WALES’ long wait to win in New Zealand continues after a powerful second-half performance from the hosts ended in defeat.
The Welsh stunned the Auckland crowd with the game’s first try from Taulupe Faletau.
And a breathless opening 40 minutes also included a Wales try from Rhys Webb, while Dan Biggar kicked 11 points as they threatened to pull off a shock by leading the world champions 18-15 at half-time.
But after the break, Waisake Naholo scored his second try for the All Blacks before captain Kieran Read and Nathan Harris added to Julian Savea’s early effort.
Wales have failed to claim victory in New Zealand for 63 years.
And their woes were doubled after wing George North suffered a hamstring injury, leaving him a major doubt for the rest of the New Zealand tour.
North was injured in the final move of the game and is due to be assessed today but Wales have already called up Keelan Giles from their Under-20s squad
Wales head coach Warren Gatland (right) said: “We are going to assess George’s hamstring. Apart from that there isn’t anything that looks serious.”
“I said we had to be brave and be bold and we did that. A couple of tries we scored were outstanding and we could have scored a couple more.
“We will have learned a lot from that game and be better for it next week.”
All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen said: “It wasn’t perfect for large parts of the game but I’m pleased with how we kept our cool under pressure in a very good match.
“It was to be expected that we would be rusty in our first game since winning the World Cup and we have had massive changes.”
Welsh captain Sam Warburton, who allowed lock Alun Wyn Jones to lead the team out at Eden Park in acknowledgment of his 100th cap, echoed Gatland’s optimism.
“We played some great stuff, and that’s what I’m pleased about,” he said. “We took some chances and it paid off. But we’re playing the world champions, we gave it a good crack and it’s not good enough for us.
“We’re desperate to get win here.”