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Dublin: 8°C Friday 16 April 2021

Gatland proud despite series loss to New Zealand

After suffering a 36-22 loss to New Zealand that sealed their fate in the series, Wales coach Warren Gatland nonetheless expressed pride.

Wales coach Warren Gatland.
Wales coach Warren Gatland.
Image: Hagen Hopkins

WALES COACH Warren Gatland praised his players and insisted he was “pretty proud” despite his side losing 36-22 in the second Test, as New Zealand completed a series win in Wellington.

The hosts ran in five tries as Wales struggled to cope with the attacking quality of the world champions, but Gatland hailed the tour as a positive learning experience for his team.

Some pride was salvaged by Wales as Liam Williams and Jonathan Davies scored late tries to make the scoreline more respectable, but New Zealand’s unbeaten run against them now stretches to 28 games.

“The courage to keep on playing and not to give up is a huge tick in the box,” Gatland said. ”We’ve learned a lot about ourselves this week.

“I’m pretty proud about that performance. There were a couple of key moments which were the difference.

“We had 58 percent territory and possession and that’s a massive number against the All Blacks, we’ve never done that before.”

Wales captain Sam Warburton said the way New Zealand capitalised on Wales errors was a sign of their class.

“We’ll never give up. We want to try and throw the ball around a little bit,” he said at the post-match presentations.

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“The people of New Zealand have been fantastic over the last week, whether we’ve been at the hotel or out on the streets, saying they enjoy the way we play, and that’s the way we’ve tried to play it – to throw the ball around and take some chances. But it didn’t work out for us today.

“New Zealand have proved why they’re the best team in the world. They were extremely clinical, we made two or three mistakes that led to two or three tries again. That was a huge momentum swing then.”

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