Wales need to box clever - Roberts

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    17 Jun 2016     Getty Images

Wales needed to box clever, he said and they were looking to build on great memories of Wellington from the 2011 Rugby World Cup when they had beaten Ireland in their quarter-final to stir them along.


"We know, if we can keep hold of the ball, we can stress them. We just have to play a bit smarter in the final 15 minutes," Roberts said.

Having been a replacement in Tuesday's loss to the Chiefs in Hamilton, Roberts said the performance had not been good enough.

"The lads who wore that jersey on Tuesday let the jersey down. I was part of that squad and it wasn't good enough.

"It was quite an embarrassing defeat and an embarrassing performance," he said.

The demands of touring meant the loss had to be quickly dusted off while preparing to play the All Blacks again.

"As soon as we landed in Wellington all eyes were on Saturday," he said.

"There is always pressure, certainly coming off the back of a loss. And coming off the back of Tuesday we owe the jersey a game, there is no doubt about that."
Wales had shown before, he said, that they could produce their best in a high-pressure environment. And Wellington would provide that.

"A lot of the lads have played here before with Wales or in the sevens and I believe it is a sell-out at the weekend. The atmosphere at Eden Park was fantastic and the lads really rose to it and we thoroughly enjoyed playing there.

"Hopefully it will be another awesome occasion again for everyone on Saturday. It is an exciting time to be playing the All Blacks," Roberts said.

"They are the most dangerous side in world rugby off turnover ball. When you do risk playing the game with width from halfway you do risk conceding points. It's high-risk, high-reward stuff," he said.

With New Zealand fielding a relatively new combination in mid-field with Ryan Crotty and Malakai Fekitoa, Roberts said they hadn't tested them as much as they would have liked.

"There never seemed to be more than five or six phases. It was a very open and frantic game and they pulled through in the last quarter which is a habit for them over the last decade," he said.