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Welsh players didn't take chance: Gatland

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 14/06/2016

Wales coach Warren Gatland has told his fringe players they need to take a hard look at themselves after they slipped to a 40-7 defeat to two-time Super Rugby champions the Chiefs.

Gatland was looking for players to put up their hands for selection for Saturday's second Test in Wellington, particularly as he needs to replace injured winger George North, but he saw little to commend as the Chiefs ran in six tries.

Wales have now conceded 16 tries in three games this summer, including five in the 28-13 defeat against England at Twickenham and five in the 39-21 first Test loss to the All Blacks.

"It was disappointing. We asked a few questions of some players by giving them an opportunity, but some of them didn't take their chance and we weren't clinical enough in finishing off our chances," Gatland said.

"As a team we felt the Chiefs were tiring a bit, but they defended well and when the chances came their way they were excellent. They dominated us at collision time.

"Players have been asking me for an opportunity and asking me why they haven't been selected. There are some very simple answers in the next few days with their performance."

Tom James of Wales is tackled during the International Test match between the Chiefs and Wales at Waikato Stadium on June 14, 2016 in Hamilton, New Zealand. © Phil Walter/Getty Images Tom James of Wales is tackled during the International Test match between the Chiefs and Wales at Waikato Stadium on June 14, 2016 in Hamilton, New Zealand.

Gatland was returning to the venue where he helped Waikato beat Wales in 1988 and now has to prepare his side for two more Tests against the world champion All Blacks.

His opposite number, Dave Rennie, was delighted with his side's victory and is now looking forward to a game against the British & Irish Lions next year.

"These games are one-offs and I didn't feel as nervous as I normally do for a Super Rugby match. We were hoping that would be the same for the players so they could go out there and enjoy it," said Rennie.

"I was immensely proud of our defence - a lot of that comes from heart and togetherness."

Wales coach Warren Gatland © Getty Wales coach Warren Gatland
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