Gatland: Missed kick was crucial
Wales coach Warren Gatland cited a crucial missed penalty kick to touch by Lee Byrne as the key moment in his side's 37-25 defeat to New Zealand at the Millennium Stadium.
Wales trailed 13-12 with the All Blacks a man down following the sin-binning of replacement flanker Daniel Braid. But full-back Byrne failed to find the touchline when Wales were awarded a penalty in their own half and they were ruthlessly punished as New Zealand's counter-attack ended with Hosea Gear notching his second try of the contest.
Gatland said: "It (missing touch) was massive, wasn't it? We had got back to 13-12, we had all the momentum and we looked strong defensively at that stage. We had some confidence behind us and I thought the All Blacks looked a bit rattled, but to miss touch and have them score from it was a big moment in the game, and those are the things we need to eradicate from our game as those are key moments that can be costly."
Four of New Zealand's five tries came from loose Welsh clearance kicks, and Gatland admitted he was disappointed as he had warned his side about the danger of kicking to New Zealand's lethal back three.
"We need to take advantage of the things we are creating and stop shooting ourselves in the foot," he continued. "We need to work on our kick returns and receptions. We said about getting the ball off the park, we maybe need to do that a bit more, and look to improve our attacking play and kick chase as well - but having said that, we are pleased and proud of the players."
The defeat means Wales have failed to win in seven games, their worst run since a streak of 10 defeats in 2003, and they remain without a win against the All Blacks in 57 years and 24 Tests.
But Gatland insists there are positives to take from an autumn campaign that yielded just one draw, last Friday's dismal effort against Fiji, from four games - most notably the manner in which the Welsh pack have performed.
He said: "There were positives in our performance up front, the scrum went well. We are disappointed but there is plenty to take from meeting the best side in the world and the players know with a bit more accuracy they are not too far away.
"We want to keep playing these teams, we want to play them next weekend and the week after that and the week after that, as that's how you get better.
"There is a massive amount to take forward. Our pack has gone well against Australia and South Africa and did well again tonight."