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Waburton clings to Welsh hope

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 12/06/2016
Wales skipper Sam Warburton © Getty Images Wales skipper Sam Warburton

Wales skipper Sam Warburton is not giving up hope of still leading his side to success in the three-Test series against New Zealand.

Warburton guided his team to an 18-15 interval lead against the world champions in the opening match at Auckland's Eden Park and was delighted when his troops were still ahead, 21-18, at the hour mark.

But then came the familiar push from the All Blacks in the final quarter as they made it 39 successive home wins with a 39-21 triumph.

They scored 21 unanswered points in the closing 20 minutes, including a fifth try from replacement hooker Nathan Harris after the hooter had sounded, to make it 27 victories in a row over Wales.

Even so, the 18-point losing margin was Wales' best on New Zealand soil.

"That try at the end was a bit disappointing and made the scoreline look a little bit ugly. They fully deserved to win, but I'm sure we will be better for the experience," said Warburton.

"We still think we've got a chance in the series. Until it is definitely taken off the table the attitude I will always have is that anything is possible."

Wales travelled to Hamilton on Sunday to prepare for their Tuesday night clash with the Chiefs in the hometown of head coach Warren Gatland.

But opposite number Steve Hansen isn't so sure the midweek game is a good idea.

"They've got a 35-man squad, but I'm pretty pleased we're not playing on Tuesday," said Hansen.

Luke Charteris will captain a Wales side against the Chiefs that features seven players who played against New Zealand in the first-Test defeat.

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