Wales v South Africa: Build on New Zealand show, says Mike Phillips

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Highlights: Wales 16-34 New Zealand

Scrum-half Mike Phillips says Wales can take heart from their 34-16 defeat against New Zealand ahead of Saturday's clash with South Africa.

Wales had led 16-15 after 69 minutes, before Beauden Barrett gathered his own kick to score after the bounce of the ball beat Leigh Halfpenny.

Seconds later Kieran Read charged down Phillips' kick to score in the corner to put the game beyond Wales.

"We can be positive going into next week," said Phillips.

"It was a great effort by all the boys, it was outstanding. It could have gone either way.

"It's obviously disappointing . . . especially with the charge down and lucky bounce of the ball."

"I think we matched them physically and we've got to take it on to next week."

Wales' autumn Tests
Saturday, 8 November: Wales v Australia - report
Saturday, 15 November: Wales 17-13 Fiji -report
Saturday, 22 November: Wales 16-34 New Zealand - report
Saturday, 29 November: v South Africa (14:30 GMT)
All games played at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

Wales have not beaten the All Blacks since 1953 - having lost 26 games in a row against them - and have beaten the Springboks only once, in 1999.

The Welsh performance was an improvement on the dire display a week ago in beating Fiji 17-13.

Saturday's Test against South Africa will be Warren Gatland's side's last chance this year to get a first win over one of the southern hemisphere's big three.

Their last victory over any of New Zealand, South Africa or Australia was in 2008 against the Wallabies.

Rhys Webb
Rhys Webb (above) - Mike Phillips' rival for the Welsh number nine shirt - scored for Wales against New Zealand

Phillips, who came on as a replacement for the injured Rhys Webb, said: "New Zealand are the world champions and they took their opportunities well.

"We certainly matched them and certainly we can be proud of it, but we've got to improve now next week.

"We were in it with 10 minutes to go. I think we've got to keep the physicality for next week.

"Our defence was superb. They could only score through cross-field kicks and what not, which they did superbly well, so we can be positive going into next week."

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