Scarlets centre Jonathan Davies says he and his Wales team-mates were encouraged by their gutsy performance in Saturday’s second Test against New Zealand.
Wales were beaten 29-10 in Hamilton in the final match of their two-Test tour but produced a far more impressive all-round display than in the first encounter in Dunedin a week earlier.
And Davies, who was one of two changes to the starting line up between the first and second internationals, believes there is plenty to be positive about as the build up to next year’s World Cup continues to gather steam.
"It was a pretty good performance and it was very encouraging and something to build on,” said Davies, who came in for the injured Andrew Bishop in midfield.
"Obviously last week was a pretty dark place for the team, but this week it’s a bit more upbeat knowing we put in a performance and stuck in there with them
"The main message going into the game had been to have accuracy in everything we do. It was a good week of training and the boys really stuck in there.
2For a period of time in that second half, we were on top and they were really struggling. That soft try we conceded at the end meant the scoreline didn’t give a fair reflection of the game.
"There was a question mark raised over our fitness last week, but this week we showed we can play a full 80 and we stuck in there quite well."
Despite the optimism, Davies is realistic enough to know that there remains plenty of room for improvement.
Wales certainly performed better second time around but the 22-year-old Scarlet admits that it is points and not necessarily performances that ultimately win prizes.
"We are not happy with the results. We know we can do better," added Davies.
"The All Blacks have set the benchmark and we’ve got to aspire to that.
"We’ve got a year now to work on these things for the World Cup next year."