Wales suf­fer double blow down un­der

Sunday Express - - Front Page - New Zealand 39 Wales 21 By David Hughes Read, Harris.

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.”

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