Three games to make it right – George North seeks Wales response
George North says Wales have three games to “make it right” as they try and piece together an Autumn Nations Series campaign damaged by New Zealand’s demolition squad.
Four months after beating South Africa in Bloemfontein, it was an all-too-familiar tale for Wales against major southern hemisphere opposition as the All Blacks cut loose.
Their trail of destruction ended with eight tries and 55 points, with Wales looking further away from the All Blacks than at any time during a 33-Test losing run.
Argentina, comfortable winners on their last visit to Cardiff 16 months ago, are next up, followed by two of Wales’ 2023 World Cup pool opponents in Georgia and Australia.
And they have a lot to work on, most notably a porous defence and the breakdown area, where New Zealand repeatedly prospered.
“The autumn series is four big tests back to back, and we are quickly into it now,” Wales centre North said.
“The games will come thick and fast, and we’ve got three to make it right.
“There were glimpses of some good rugby in there from us, but it is an 80-minute performance we need.
“It was a mixed bag. The scoreline has its own story, but when you were in it, we felt like we were going toe to toe.
“We fronted up on a number of occasions, but obviously let some easy tries in, which you can’t do at this level. We have got to be on the money from minute one.
“We created the opportunities, we need to be a bit more clinical, we have got to look at exits in terms of getting out of our 22 and take the pressure off us, rather than compound those issues.”
As a launch-pad for their final international season before the World Cup, Wales’ spluttering machinery meant there was never any realistic chance of take-off.
It was the 10th time in succession that New Zealand have scored 30 points or more against Wales as they underlined a concerning gulf in quality 10 months out from the World Cup.
During a year when New Zealand have often fallen below their world-class standards – testified by defeats against Ireland (twice), Argentina and South Africa – Wales could once again get nowhere near them.
North added: “We’ve got three games left now, then a short time away and back for the Six Nations.
“Every time you are on the field at Test level, you have got to take your minutes, your opportunities and really put a performance in.”
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.