Wales closing gap to All Blacks - Gatland

2016-06-19 12:56
Warren Gatland (Gallo)

Wellington - Wales coach Warren Gatland insists the gap between his side and New Zealand is narrowing despite a 36-22 loss in the second Test in Wellington.

Gatland is eyeing an upset win over the All Blacks in their final clash in Dunedin next week, saying only "small margins" separate his players from the world champions.

"We honestly don't think we're too far away," he said.

"We've just got to make sure that we understand that at the very highest level it's small margins and small moments -- that's where they're a little bit better than us at the moment."

Gatland, himself a Kiwi, said statistics backed him up with Wales improving from 41 percent territory and possession in the first Test to more than 55 percent in the second.

"That's a massive number for us against the All Blacks, we've never done that before."

In the first Test, Wales were ahead with 18 minutes to go but could not match the All Blacks finishing burst when they piled on three late tries to win 39-21.

And Gatland blamed the Wellington loss on a 10-minute period early in the second half when the "ruthless" All Blacks scored three tries to seize control of a match which had been locked 10-10 at the break.

"I was proud of their performance," he said of his side.

"There were two or three key moments in the game and that's the difference between us and them."

Captain Sam Warburton said Wales would keep faith in their running style of play.

"We'll never give up," he said.

"We want to try to throw the ball around a little bit and take some chances."

The third and final Test in the series is in Dunedin next weekend.

Read more on:    all blacks  |  wales  |  rugby


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