All Blacks seek emphatic end to Wales test series

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New Zealand captain Kieran Read says the All Blacks want to put "an exclamation mark" on their three-test series against Wales in Saturday's third and final test at Dunedin.

New Zealand won the first match at Auckland 39-21 and the second at Wellington 36-22. But the All Blacks left it late to assert their superiority in both games.

Wales led until the 62nd minute of the first test before conceding three late tries and went to halftime level with New Zealand in the second test before letting in three tries midway through the second spell.

"It's all about staying in the match," Wales coach Warren Gatland said. "In both games to date we have seemed to switch off for five or 10 minutes and that has been hugely costly for us.

"The players have been hard on themselves and been pretty honest in identifying where we let ourselves down with mistakes."

Saturday's match will end a year-long season for Wales. The team came together as a squad on July 15 last year to prepare for the Rugby World Cup and have stayed together through that tournament, the Six Nations and the current tour.

While weary, the team was eager to record Wales' first victory over New Zealand since 1953.

"We have to make sure we are accurate all game," Gatland said. "The attitude in training has been excellent and we've freshened them up for one final assault on the All Blacks after a long season."

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen has made 12 personnel changes, including five among his starting lineup, for the third test and the All Blacks will have to bed in new combinations quickly.

"The boys, as a team, really want to deliver a great performance to put an exclamation mark on the series," Read said. "(Wales) have been really strong and physical so we'll get the same.

"They will back themselves as well, they've certainly done that so we've got to try to get on top of them a bit quicker than we perhaps have done in the last couple of games."

-AP

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