Wales full of confidence for Cardiff Test

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Price, in his Western Mail column, rehashed the false claim that it was a dive by Andy Haden that secured the penalty from which Brian McKechnie kicked his match-winning goal to secure a 12-11 win.

Referee Roger Quittenton penalised lock Geoff Wheel for jumping off fellow lock Frank Oliver's shoulder and claimed that he never saw Haden's dive as he was on the other side of the lineout.

But Price pointed to another reason he believed many in Wales have forgotten about that contributed to the loss.

"A few months earlier we had swept to the Grand Slam and I have not the slightest doubt that had we kept that team together, we would have been the ones to beat New Zealand. The talk of a hoodoo, which exists to this days, about having to go way back to 1953 would have been banished at that point."

Price said the retirement of halfback Gareth Edwards, first five-eighths Phil Bennett and wing Gerald Davies, each of them world-class players, was a blow, and if they had stayed, Wales would have won.

He said there were reasons to be optimistic that the team of 2022 might be able to end the Welsh pain. The problems in the New Zealand camp were the difference this time.

"Whichever way you wish to describe it, they are out of sorts.

"It's been a mixed bag of results in recent times, to say the least, including a hammering at the hands of South Africa, losing to Ireland and even a first home defeat against Argentina. They were highly unconvincing in scraping past Japan last weekend.

"This is not the New Zealand we know. Some of the criticism they are receiving from the press and fans back home has been savage. When that happens, you know it is really bad."

New Zealand would be without captain and flanker Sam Cane, veteran hooker Dane Coles through injuries while lock Brodie Retallick is under suspension.

"Wales need to build upon the confidence they took from the summer tour to South Africa and put a performance together that ensures they can take advantage of New Zealand's problems.

"Take a leaf out of Ireland's book and believe.

"It's amazing what a bit of belief and confidence can do. Ireland have a game plan these days suited to disrupting New Zealand, pick and drive, pick and drive, rolling lineouts which are difficult to stop. They seem to cause them more problems than any other side.

"But Wales have had their own successes against Ireland in recent years, showing our players are every bit as good, even if when it comes to those black jerseys in front of us we invariably fail."


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