Wales left with lessons to ponder - Gatland
Wales faced a change of mindset at the breakdown-collision area if they were to take lessons from their New Zealand tour and apply them to their advantage in northern hemisphere play.
Coach Warren Gatland said after his side's 46-6 loss to the All Blacks in the third Steinlager Series Test in Dunedin, that some significant lessons had been given to his side and it was now a case of learning from, and applying, them when they get back together.
The result had been disappointing in Dunedin. There were a lot of positives out of the first two Tests. They had started well again, but they had needed to score before half-time when they had an opportunity.
"But in fairness to the All Blacks I thought they were absolutely outstanding. The pace of their back three caused us some problems and some of their collision dominance was pretty good as well.
"We'll take a lot of lessons from what we've learnt from these three Tests and we need to make sure we apply that to the next time we are back together.
"The thing with the All Blacks is that when they do get away from you they just keep coming at you so it's tough. But the game for us, as I said we started pretty well but we needed to definitely score before half-time when we had a chance," he said.
Gatland said for Wales the exposure to the acceleration into the contact area that the All Blacks brought was a big work-on for the side to improve on because it created quick ball and the dominance going into attack and defence.
"That was definitely the difference between the two sides [in Dunedin] and we need to learn from that experience and apply it next time we're together.
"You can get away with it sometimes in the northern hemisphere because they're definitely not as aggressive there at the breakdown and the All Blacks were clinical in that area," he said.
Gatland said on SKYSport that coming to New Zealand it was vital to win the collisions at the breakdown, both on attack and defence.
It was a case of understanding as players that you were going to come up against players who played the game at pace and with an intensity and off-loads and who run hard. The difference is that the All Blacks are not slowing up and parking over the ball, they were accelerating into that contact.
"You talk about it and you try to work at it in training but until you experience that on the park it's difficult for them to understand so that's the biggest lesson we'll take from the three Tests," he said.