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'No quick fix' for Wales to match NZ - Alun Wyn Jones

NEW ZEALAND v WALES
Venue: Waikato Stadium, Hamilton Date: Sat, 26 June Kick-off: 0835 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio Wales MW & online, with score updates online


Alun Wyn Jones
Alun Wyn Jones is widely-regarded as a Wales captain of the future

Lock Alun Wyn Jones has warned Wales' hopes of upping their intensity levels to live with New Zealand for a full 80 minutes will "not happen overnight".

Warren Gatland told his players after Saturday's 42-9 demolition in Dunedin that playing intensely for 50 minutes "wasn't good enough" against the Kiwis.

Gatland hopes for improvement when the Wales coach sends his team out for Saturday's second Test in Hamilton.

But Jones insists: "There's no quick fix - it's a long-term thing."

Gatland praised his Welsh team for enjoying 60% territory in the first half in Dunedin as the coach acknowledged "not many teams have that opportunity to do that against the All Blacks - especially on their own patch".

But he did add: "Fifty minutes wasn't good enough and we've got to learn to sustain that intensity for 80 minutes."

Wales have only a seven-day turnaround to right the wrongs of Dunedin when Ryan Jones leads his bruised team out for the final match of a long and gruelling season.

606: DEBATE
magicfightingspirit

Wales have not celebrated a victory over the Kiwis since 1953, while the Welsh have never beaten the All Blacks on New Zealand soil.

The influential Alun Wyn Jones is one of the cornerstones around which Gatland has built his Wales team.

And the British and Irish Lions second row has reminded his coach that finding an extra 30 minutes of intensity inside a week is nigh on impossible.

"We were there for the full 40 and in another three games we'd be there for the full 80," said the 24-year-old Osprey.

"But it is intense up front. We can't make large strides, it's all about little steps and we've got to keep taking them.

"We've done 40 minutes, then 50, we've got to find another 30 from somewhere but it is not going to come overnight."

Jones is one of Gatland's leaders on the field and the young Ospreys forward is widely regarded as a future Wales skipper.

Now he wants his Welsh team-mates to learn from errors in the first Test against the mighty All Blacks in arguably the toughest rugby country to tour - and finish this season with pride restored.

"Probably fatigue set in in the scrum in the second half," said Jones. "But in the first 40 we were in it.

"After the 50-minute mark we kicked a bit too much ball away and the kick-chase wasn't there. And with the potency they have on the counter-attack we would get punished - and we did.

"We started fragmenting, got a bit too loose and when you kick that loosely and the kick-chase isn't there, there is an inevitable outcome.

"What we must try to do in the second Test is prolong the pressure and sustain it consistently, maintain the set-piece and accuracy we had in our phase of play and eliminate individual errors and cynical penalties.

"And I always believe you can turn it around."



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