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Last Updated: Sunday, 2 November, 2003, 13:47 GMT
Mitchell remains upbeat
New Zealand coach John Mitchell
New Zealand coach John Mitchell is not worried
New Zealand coach John Mitchell refused to press the panic button after seeing his side struggle to overcome a plucky Wales outfit at the Rugby World Cup.

The All Blacks were expected to roll over the Welsh in their final group game but could only stutter their way to an unconvincing 53-37 victory in Sydney on Sunday.

"We had some defensive lapses, but I would rather focus on the positives," said Mitchell, whose team will play South Africa in the last eight.

"We've been in need of a Test match like that in this tournament.

We didn't contemplate losing the game
All Blacks captain Reuben Thorne

"We can only benefit from that. It's ideal preparation for us. It's better it comes now than next week in the quarter-finals."

All Blacks captain Reuben Thorne said his side never felt in danger of defeat.

"We didn't contemplate losing the game, we were confident that we could score tries," he said.

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