Read lauds All Blacks for second half showing

All Black captain Kieran Read scores a try


New Zealand Rugby captain Kieran Read has lauded All Black team after they powered to a 39-21 victory over Wales in the first of three Tests.

Wales led New Zealand 15-18 at half time but the All Blacks surged in the second half and outscored the Welsh by five tries to two at Eden Park.

Read is now the full time All Black captain after Richie McCaw’s retirement and he acknowledged that his team struggled a little at the start but was pleased with the way their class showed in the second half.

“Exactly what we thought it was going to be, the Welsh were fired up,” said Read of the early exchanges.

“The boys were pretty eager, but then realized what test match footy is about, you’ve got to work really hard, and I’m proud of the lads, we dug at it and came out in the second half with a better attitude.

“We had the confidence, we just had to remind ourselves about what we were going to do out on this field. It’s hard work, and it’s just putting bodies on the line, which we probably didn’t show enough in that first half.”

Read said that in the first half their set pieces were “a little bit off the mark” but was pleased with the All Blacks “great” line out and praised the players who came off the bench.

“The boys who came on I think had a big impact in this game. So the bench did really well,” he told Stuff.

“This is a 23-man game, it’s a 32-man game to prepare us for what we do out here on Saturday night. The whole squad’s come together pretty well.

“We’ll take it, we’ve got plenty to work on for next week.”

Although Read has captained the All Blacks 9 times before he said to be taking over as the national captain was a “great” feeling.

“It’s certainly a pretty proud moment to run out in front of the boys. But it’s a good team, we’re just building. We’ll get back to the drawing board on Monday and we know we’ve got a big test again down in Wellington.”

Meanwhile Wales captain said that his team had arrived in New Zealand with the intention of playing a bold game and having a real dig.

“We knew we couldn’t come to a place like New Zealand and be conservative and hope to win by edging penalty kicks, we knew we had to score tries,” he said.

“You’ve got to be pretty brave in terms of the decisions you make, try and throw the ball a bit, and we did that probably more so than we would back in the northern hemisphere. And it paid off for us, we got some pretty good tries, just a few defensive issues we need to tighten up. And disappointing to give away seven at the end, which makes the scoreboard look a little bit ugly.

“Our counter attack was pretty good in patches, but credit to New Zealand, you make one mistake and it turns into seven points, and two mistakes turns into 14 points, they’re pretty ruthless.”

Warburton said that Wales were, “tired of being heroic losers, I know everyone back home feels the same, so we’re doing everything we can behind closed doors to get a win, and it’s something we’re desperate to do.”

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