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Page last updated at 09:43 GMT, Monday, 21 June 2010 10:43 UK

Wales centre Jamie Roberts seeks All Blacks redemption

Centre Jamie Roberts says Wales must build on their first-half performances
Centre Jamie Roberts says Wales must build on their first-half performances

Jamie Roberts says Wales are relishing their tour of New Zealand despite last weekend's 42-9 loss in the first Test.

The British and Irish Lions centre says although the scoreline in Dunedin was harsh there were plenty of positives to take into Saturday's Hamilton clash.

"It's a chance to put things right, it's a chance to... come out with all guns blazing for the last game of the season next Saturday," Roberts said.

"Is there a bigger challenge in world rugby than to come here and win?"

Roberts says that the Wales players' confidence is still good, despite back-to-back losses against South Africa in Cardiff a fortnight ago and then in Carisbrook to the All Blacks.

Wales impressed in the first 40 minutes of each Test, only for mistakes and turnovers to undermine their bid to claim a rare Tri-Nations scalp.

"We're learning, it was the same against South Africa two weeks ago when we came in at half-time feeling very positive," Roberts added.

"Everyone saw that [the confidence] from the kick-off, everyone saw that in the first half and the point is laboured to some extent.

All the boys have taken huge strides playing in atmospheres like this

Wales centre Jamie Roberts

"The boys here work damn hard week in, week out and it's obviously gutting to be on the end of a result like that.

"First half we played some good stuff, tactically we were superb and we came in at half-time feeling really confident.

"But in the second half turnovers killed us and New Zealand showed why they are one of the most potent teams in world rugby.

"They exploit space very well off turnovers and our kick-chase wasn't up there.

"You can't afford to be that loose against these teams, they'll put you to the sword like they did in the second half.

"Our defence was quite poor in that second half, especially off the kick-chase, and if you give sides like New Zealand unstructured ball to play off they're going to kill you off, and we did that in the form of turnovers.

"It's a great place to learn, all the boys have taken huge strides playing in atmospheres like this and hopefully it'll stand us in good stead for next week."

Roberts will have a new partner in midfield at the Waikato Stadium after Andrew Bishop was ruled out of the second Test with a broken hand.

Jonathan Davies of the Scarlets is likely to be the new man in midfield when Wales coach Warren Gatland names his side on Thursday.

There is an injury doubt over Stephen Jones, who is having further scans on a thumb injury, with Dan Biggar the back-up fly-half if required.


Gatland has also hinted at making changes in the pack, which again misfired at the line-out and started to creak at the scrum once New Zealand coach Graham Henry sent on loose-head Tony Woodcock for the second half.

Although Wales have never beaten New Zealand on their own turf, and not anywhere for 57 years, Roberts believes they still have every chance of closing the gap if they can just put together an 80 minute performance rather than playing in fits and starts.

"We've kind of reversed it from the Six Nations where we struggled first half and fought back towards the end of the second half," Roberts said.

"It's turned the other way now where we come out after half-time and maybe don't play the right game tactically, or we just start falling off tackles.

"We're just disappointed with the scoreline more than anything, I don't think it reflected how close the teams were, especially in the first half."

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