Warren Gatland: Chiefs defeat answers Wales' selection questions

By Owen RawlingsBBC Wales Sport in Hamilton, New Zealand
Warren Gatland
Warren Gatland is trying to end Wales' victory drought against New Zealand, with their last win coming in 1953

Wales coach Warren Gatland says fringe players missed a chance to push their selection claims for the second Test with New Zealand against the Chiefs.

Wales, showing 14 changes from the 39-21 defeat to New Zealand, lost 40-7 to a Chiefs side missing eight All Blacks.

"Players were given a chance to make a statement and put their hand up for selection for Saturday," said Gatland.

"A few questions were answered for us in terms of fringe players and where they're at at the moment."

Wales take on the world champions in Wellington, before another Test match against Steve Hansen's side in Dunedin on 25 June.

Wales' summer fixtures:
11 June: New Zealand 39-21 Wales (Auckland)
14 June: Chiefs 40-7 Wales (Hamilton)
18 June: New Zealand (Wellington)
25 June: New Zealand (Dunedin)

The Chiefs, two-time Super Rugby champions, outscored Wales by six tries to one in Hamilton.

Lock forward Jake Ball was helped from the field midway through the second half to compound the misery for Wales.

Gatland admitted the midweek game was "disappointing", having billed it as an opportunity for his squad players to push for a starting place this weekend.

"We created some chances, particularly in that first half, but we weren't clinical enough in terms of finishing," said the Kiwi.

"They defended well and when the chances came their way they were excellent. They dominated us at collision time.

"I think a number of players will have learned a lot from that experience."

Dominic Bird
Dominic Bird scored the Chiefs' third try in the first half at the FMG Waikato Stadium

Wales have conceded 16 tries in three games and Gatland says everyone in the camp must think about how they can improve.

"There is no doubt the players in that changing room are hurting and not just the players that took to the pitch, but the players that were watching as well - and all the staff," the 2013 Lions coach said.

"The challenge is how we respond to that and that's what we've got to do on Saturday.

"They've got to be honest about looking themselves in the mirror, look at that performance and [think about] what they learned and how do they apply it to be better players in the future.

"And we've got to do exactly the same as coaches too."