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Wayne Pivac hints at New Zealand skullduggery in Wales victory

By PA
Press Association

Wayne Pivac warned Wales must improve their physicality after New Zealand overpowered them to register a 33rd consecutive victory in the fixture.

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New Zealand scored eight tries and a record number of points against Wales in their 55-23 win at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium.

The All Blacks were last beaten by Wales in 1953 and 25 of their 33 victories since have been by a margin of 15 points or more.

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Head coach Pivac said: “There were a lot of good individual performances but I think collectively as a group we needed to, at times, be a little bit more physical, come off the line and meet New Zealand.

“We wanted a fast start, but we didn’t get that. We leaked 17 points pretty early on.

“We were very pleased to get back into the game once we’d got through that part.

“New Zealand sides are very good in the last 10 minutes before half-time and probably the start after half-time.

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“We focused on that and did well to get back into that game I thought. We started the second half as we’d hoped and that was to score first and get within seven.

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“Unfortunately after that we weren’t able to exit and you put a lot of that down to the pressure New Zealand exerted on us in and around our 22.

“That was really disappointing to concede and it was clear at that point we started to chase the game a little bit. Chasing the game, the score went away from us a little bit at the end.”

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Wales, 17-0 down after 19 minutes, scored two tries through the debut-making wing Rio Dyer and flanker Justin Tipuric.

Skipper Tipuric’s try after 51 minutes reduced the deficit to six points but New Zealand, 29-23 ahead at that point, dominated the final half-hour and romped away with three further tries.

“They got speed of ball in our 22 which most teams are after – and we weren’t able to do that,” said Pivac, whose side face remaining autumn games against Argentina, Georgia and Australia.

“Like all good New Zealand sides at the breakdown you question some of the angles they came in from, but that’s the way it works on the day.

“We’ve got to make sure we can combat that. We will definitely be looking at that area of the game and making sure we improve next week.

“To release the pressure straight after a score is something we’ve got to look at. We have to make sure we get right for next week and for other games.”

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The All Blacks head to Scotland next week before rounding off their trip to Europe by playing England at Twickenham on November 26.

Head coach Ian Foster said: “We are delighted. It’s always a tough Test match, so to come here and play the way we played is great.

“I love the patience we showed. They had moments and put us under pressure, but we stayed patient and came though.”

Asked if they had next year’s World Cup in France on their mind, Foster added: “A little bit. But Test rugby is about the here and now.”

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