Four Nations: Lee Briers hails Wales defence against New Zealand

Wales captain Lee Briers and Ian Webster combine to stop Jeremy Smith of New Zealand
Wales captain Lee Briers and Ian Webster combine to stop Jeremy Smith

Lee Briers took pride in Wales' brave second-half performance against Four Nations reigning champions New Zealand.

The Kiwis were comfortable 36-0 victors running in seven tries without reply.

But Wales, who trailed 26-0 at half-time, showed great defiance after the break at Wembley.

"Everyone has got to be aware that we are a semi-pro team and to keep New Zealand to two tries in that second half was a superb effort," said Wales captain Briers.

The Warrington half-back admitted that the Wales players would learn a lot from the experience of facing the Kiwis.

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"We had our chances but the difference between top sides and middle sides is that they build pressure. We kept turning the ball over," Briers added.

"But to do what we did in the second half, we have got to be proud of that."

Benji Marshall laid on four of his side's five tries in the first half - two of which went to Sika Manu.

The Kiwis' other try-scorers were Jason Nightingale, Kevin Locke, Gerard Beale (two) and Nathan Fien, with Marshall landing four conversions.

Wigan star Thomas Leuluai was reasonably happy with the Kiwis' showing: "If we keep working like we have today we will have a chance to get ourselves into the final."

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