Wales and Ospreys captain Ryan Jones says his team have no intention of waving the white flag ahead of Saturday’s second Test with New Zealand.
Jones and co were beaten 42-9 in last weekend’s first encounter in Dunedin as the All Blacks blew Wales away in the closing stages.
The tourists produced an impressive first-half display at Craisbrook, establishing an early 6-0 lead and only trailing 15-9 at the break following a disputed Corey Jane try for the All Blacks.
But the home side turned on the style in the second period, leaving Wales with it all to do if they are to level the series before flying home for a well-earned rest.
“I thought we were superb in the first half,” said Jones, who led the Ospreys to Magners League glory at the end of last month.
“We gave ourselves an opportunity which is what we talked about, and then we got pumped in the second half.
“They were able to capitalize on our mistakes and we failed to do that to them – that’s basically the gist of it.”
But despite the extent of the first-Test defeat, Jones insists his side will be fighting tooth and nail to secure a first-ever victory over the All Blacks on New Zealand soil next week.
Wales head coach Warren Gatland has often described this two-match tour as a key learning curve ahead of next year’s World Cup and Jones sees no reason to shy away from that process after one heavy loss.
“Two years ago, we were in this position in South Africa. We’d had a mauling in the first Test but it’s about picking yourselves up and dusting yourselves off because there is next week,” added Jones.
“We can’t give up, pack up and go home. We’ve got to show a bit of character.
“We know our plays, we know what it is that we’re trying to achieve and it’s about getting ourselves physically and mentally right. That’s when you see what the character of individuals and a team are like.”