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Wales skipper Sam Warburton still has his sights on a series win in New Zealand

Published 12/06/2016

Stephen Donald will face Wales on Tuesday night
Stephen Donald will face Wales on Tuesday night

Wales skipper Sam Warburton is not giving up hope of still leading his side to success in the three-Test series against New Zealand.

Warburton guided his team to an 18-15 interval lead against the world champions in the opening match at Auckland's Eden Park and was delighted when his troops were still ahead, 21-18, at the hour mark.

But then came the familiar push from the All Blacks in the final quarter as they made it 39 successive home wins with a 39-21 triumph.

They scored 21 unanswered points in the closing 20 minutes, including a fifth try from replacement hooker Nathan Harris after the hooter had sounded, to make it 27 victories in a row over Wales.

Even so, the 18-point losing margin was Wales' best on New Zealand soil.

"That try at the end was a bit disappointing and made the scoreline look a little bit ugly. They fully deserved to win, but I'm sure we will be better for the experience," said Warburton.

"We still think we've got a chance in the series. Until it is definitely taken off the table the attitude I will always have is that anything is possible.

"We definitely want to get one win, but you don't want to come over here and just settle for that. You want to aim your sights higher than that - that's the attitude we have, whether other people think that is realistic or not."

Wales travelled to Hamilton on Sunday to prepare for their Tuesday night clash with the Chiefs in the home-town of head coach Warren Gatland.

Gatland was in the Chiefs side that beat Wales in their tour opener in 1988, but opposite number Steve Hansen isn't so sure the midweek game is a good idea.

"They've got a big week, haven't they, with the hometown game for Warren. They've got a 35-man squad, but I'm pretty pleased we're not playing on Tuesday," said Hansen.

"They're going to have to chance their arm again against us in Wellington, aren't they? They're not going to win by kicking penalties and they've worked that out.

"They'll come and throw the kitchen sink at us. It will come down to energy levels and that's difficult at the end of a season and even more so when you've got to play half your squad on Tuesday."

Luke Charteris will captain a Wales side against the Chiefs that features seven players who played against New Zealand in the first-Test defeat.

Gatland has been forced to play Scott Williams, Gareth Davies, Rob Evans, Scott Baldwin, Tomas Francis, Jake Ball and Ellis Jenkins against the two-time Super Rugby champions, and has also asked Bradley Davies, Ross Moriarty and Gareth Anscombe to possibly double up off the bench.

"Tuesday is a huge opportunity for these players, they have trained hard and are ready to get game time under their belts" said Gatland.

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