Matthew Rees took the positives from Wales' fightback against New Zealand
Last Updated: 25/11/12 2:16pm
Matthew Rees: Pleased that Wales did not throw in the towel against the All Blacks
Matthew Rees believes Wales can build on their impressive second-half performance against New Zealand when they take on Australia next weekend.
Wales' 33-10 loss was their 25th in a row to the All Blacks, sixth on the bounce against all opponents and heaviest Millennium Stadium reversal for seven years.
But for the first time since 1972, they matched New Zealand on the second-half scoreboard as tries from substitute Scott Williams and wing Alex Cuthbert showcased admirable resilience.
Former Wales captain Rees believes the side's response amid adversity augers well for next Saturday's Wallabies challenge.
"Most teams would have thrown in the towel, but we got back on board and showed how good this team can be," he said.
"We played the world champions in our own backyard and came out fighting, scoring some good tries.
"We've got to continue next week in the way we played in the second half against New Zealand. If we can do that, then there is no reason why we cannot get the win.
"Most teams would have thrown in the towel, but we got back on board and showed how good this team can be. We played the world champions in our own backyard and came out fighting, scoring some good tries."
"For us, it's about getting back on the training field and making sure everything we do is spot on. International level is about being clinical."
The challenge now facing head coach Warren Gatland and his players is to regroup for Australia and Rees recognises the importance of the clash.
"It's a massive game next week and we have got to win," added Rees, who knows another defeat would see his team drop outside the top eight of the IRB world rankings ahead of 2015 World Cup draw on December 3.
"At the end of the day, international rugby is all about winning.
"We knew it was going to be a tough ask against the world champions, but we had a good week of preparation and thought we had enough to get the result.
"But we know how clinical the All Blacks are and how good they are individually. We came second best, but one thing this team will not do is lie down."