Wales rue crucial lapses as rare chance slips awayas

Wales 25 New Zealand 37
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The Independent Online

Bradley Davies admitted another "mad five minutes" cost Wales dearly as they began reflecting on their missed opportunity to beat the All Blacks on Saturday. Although the tourists prevailed 37-25 – late tries by wing Isaia Toeava and substitute prop John Afoa proved harsh on Wales – it was far from the expected cakewalk.

It is 57 years and 24 Tests since Wales had toppled the red-hot 2011 World Cup favourites but the hosts trailed just 13-12 early in the second half – the All Blacks forward Daniel Braid had been sent to the sin bin and it was time to go for the jugular against a noticeably subdued New Zealand.

Davies and company were on top up front, and the scene was set – then the Wales full-back Lee Byrne failed to find touch with a penalty, New Zealand counter-attacked and Hosea Gear claimed a killer second try.

Byrne was not the only culprit though, as New Zealand's opening two touchdowns from Gear and the outstanding full-back Mils Muliaina were direct products of collective missed tackles by George North, Tom Shanklin, Gethin Jenkins, Dan Lydiate and Ryan Jones.

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