Menu allblacks.com

News

Top seeds Wales confident despite 'mythical' status of NZU20

Getty Images

wru.co.uk, irb.com and James Mortimer     14 Jun 2012     Getty Images

"We are thrilled with our achievement so far. We have had three very good wins and we're over the moon with our position in the table," he said.

Wales beat New Zealand in their second pool match on Friday and a thumping 74-3 win over Samoa last night meant they finished the Pool stages as Number 1 seeds going into the last four.

However, New Zealand grabbed a bonus point win over Fiji to take the fourth place, setting up a re-match this Sunday.

Wilson said, "We couldn't be in a better position. We've already beaten New Zealand once so we've overcome the mental hurdle. New Zealand's unbeaten run in this tournament gave them a mythical status but that's gone now.

"We know we won't be able to surprise New Zealand this time around but we're fine with that because it means they will pay us the respect we feel we have earned as Number 1 seeds ahead of the semi-finals. New Zealand are an extremely strong and very talented side but we are determined to play as well, if not better than the first time around."

Wilson was delighted with his side's final Pool outing against Samoa.

"I thought we played very well, we scored some great tries and the backs were outstanding but we also really mixed things up a bit which is pleasing. The players that came off the bench tonight also showed what they are capable of which is very encouraging.

"We are thrilled with our achievement so far. We have had three very good wins and we're over the moon with our position in the table."

New Zealand coach Rob Penney was just thrilled to get the bonus point win over Fiji that kept their title defence alive.

"We hadn’t executed very well, the Fijians defended brilliantly and got line speed on us, and we still tried to persist going into the front wall when there were lots of opportunities to put the ball in behind," he said.

"So we just talked about the tactical opportunities that we weren’t taking, and it was a pleasing start in the second half, still too many errors though and we’ve got a lot of work to do. We made lots of unforced errors, I think 13 by half time, and you can’t have that sort of ratio at this level of footy. As I say, we have got a lot of work to do and we haven’t got much time so it will be a big few days for us."

"We kicked a lot smarter (in the second half) and turned the Fijians round a couple of times which was instrumental in us being able to score a couple of tries but I’ve got a lot of admiration for the way the Fijians boys played. They are a big physical unit and they bought some intensity, got the line speed, tried to shut us down early and created some opportunities of their own, so Fiji Rugby is in good heart as well."

To view highlights from the NZ v Fiji match, click here.