Australia Wales have lacked ‘belief’ against the All Blacks

15:01  24 october  2021
15:01  24 october  2021 Source:   planetrugby.com

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Former Wales scrum-half Mike Phillips believes that they have often shown the All Blacks “too much respect” during their previous clashes.

New Zealand v Wales – 2019 Rugby World Cup – Bronze Final – Tokyo Stadium © PA Images New Zealand v Wales – 2019 Rugby World Cup – Bronze Final – Tokyo Stadium

Wayne Pivac’s men take on New Zealand next weekend hoping to end 68 years of hurt.

Despite winning three of their first four clashes against the great New Zealanders, they have failed to repeat those successes since then.

The All Blacks have recorded 16 consecutive victories in the Welsh capital – and 31 in total – since Wales last beat them in 1953.

“To a man, do you all believe each and every one of you that you’re going to win?” former British and Irish Lions scrum-half Phillips said reflecting on his own Wales career against the New Zealand winning machine.

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More than a rugby team

“It does get ingrained in you that they are such a force. They are more than a rugby team in many ways.

“They are the most successful team on the planet, a brand, and you are up against everything.

“Maybe that belief has not been there in the past. Perhaps we’ve been too nice at times and shown too much respect.

“You’ve really got to be on your A game and the mindset has got to be, without doubt that, we’re going to win.”

Phillips was on the losing side seven times against New Zealand during his 12-year Wales career which saw him win 94 caps for his country.

But he believes the current crop of players – who also face autumn Tests against Australia, Fiji and South Africa – possess the necessary self-belief to end the long wait for success over the three-time world champions.

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“I think that win will come,” said Phillips, whose newly-published book ‘Half Truths’ charts a colourful life both on and off the field.

“I’m really excited. When all the players are available, Wales have got a great squad. We’ve got depth in so many positions and it is a really exciting two years out from a World Cup.

“The future looks good and there is a belief in this younger generation of Welsh players. They won the Six Nations and they’ve got this mindset of ‘why not’?

“But they will have to be efficient in every way and on the ball.”

New Zealand won the 2021 Rugby Championship by winning five of their six games against Argentina, Australia and South Africa.

But they ended the competition with a 31-29 defeat to South Africa on the Gold Coast in Australia as the world champions exploited some weaknesses in their armoury.

“They made a lot of errors against South Africa,” Phillips said. “There were a lot of dropped balls and they look a bit of a young side. Maybe they can be got at.

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“They are an outstanding team and the stats will always say they bounce back.

“But we’ve got players who want to perform, we’re in Cardiff with a full house and there will be a buzzing atmosphere.

“They are a beatable side, so why can’t Wales do it?”

‘Biggest challenge comes the biggest rewards’ – Josh Adams

Meanwhile, Wales wing Josh Adams has admitted he cannot wait to take on New Zealand when they kick off their Autumn Nations Series at the Principality Stadium next week.

The ground will be sold out for a mouth-watering opening game but the odds are overwhelmingly stacked against the Welsh due to injuries and unavailability.

“With the biggest challenge comes the biggest rewards. Why not think of it like that?” Adams said.

“Everyone selected in the coaches’ eyes are good enough to be international rugby players. What better challenge for someone who hasn’t faced one of the big southern hemisphere countries before to face the All Blacks?

$7.25 million 'Faustian pact' with NZ burns Wales .
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