New Zealand v Wales: Belief key to ending 63-year hoodoo, says Gareth Anscombe


Gareth Anscombe

New Zealand v Wales (first Test)
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland Date: Saturday, 11 June Kick-off: 08:35 BST
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, the BBC Sport app, Connected TV, and live text commentary on the BBC Sport website.

Gareth Anscombe says a positive attitude is key if Wales are to end a 63-year wait to beat New Zealand.

The Auckland-born back is set to face the country of his birth next Saturday for the first time since opting to play for Warren Gatland’s side in 2014.

Anscombe is the only Wales player to have won at Eden Park, where he began his club career with Auckland Blues.

“We’ve just got to be positive in what we do,” said the Cardiff Blues back as he prepares for the first Test.

New Zealand are unbeaten at Eden Park since 1994, and have not lost any of 26 matches against Wales since 1953.

Wales’ summer fixtures:
11 June: New Zealand (Auckland)
14 June: Chiefs (Hamilton)
18 June: New Zealand (Wellington)
25 June: New Zealand (Dunedin)

“We’ve just got to worry about ourselves and try to play a bit of footy,” said Anscombe.

The back, who left Auckland’s Blues for fellow Super Rugby club the Chiefs in 2013 before moving to Cardiff in 2014, described Eden Park as “a special ground” and one that he “always enjoyed playing at”.

He continued: “We want to back our skill set and we feel we’ve got a few backs, particularly out wide, that can do a bit of damage.

“You’ve got to be confident. There’s no point coming over here thinking you’re going to have a 3-0 whitewash, you might as well just go home.”

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The match in Auckland will be the All Blacks’ first since beating Australia 34-17 in the World Cup final.

Steve Hansen’s side are going through a rebuilding phase, with such as like Richie McCaw, Dan Carter, Ma’a Nonu and Conrad Smith among those to have retired from Test rugby.

Anscombe is looking forward to taking on a few familiar faces on his return to New Zealand, though he is fully aware of the task at hand.

Gareth Anscombe
Gareth Anscombe helped the Chiefs to the Super Rugby title in 2013

“I know a few of the boys in camp and it will be nice to get stuck into them and try to get one over them if we can,” he said.

“If we stick to our game for 80 minutes and are pretty accurate in what we do, then I think we’ve got a chance.

“You can’t turn over much ball against the All Blacks, you can’t waste your opportunities and you’ve got to defend bravely.

“If you do that and you hang in there after 70 minutes, you might walk away with a victory.”


[Source  BBC]