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Wales coach blasts fringe players after loss

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Wellington (AFP)

Wales coach Warren Gatland says his fringe players blew a chance to press their case for Test selection in their heavy loss to the Waikato Chiefs.

The Chiefs humbled Wales 40-7 in Hamilton on Tuesday night, the tourists' heaviest-ever defeat to a New Zealand provincial side.

Gatland, who faces a mounting injury list and is looking for options as the second Test against the All Blacks looms in Wellington on Saturday, was far from impressed.

"We were second best by a long way... we were dominated at the collision time and that was the difference," he told reporters.

"Rugby is a simple game, it's about the collisions and they dominated us."

Gatland said squad players had been pestering him about why they were not in the Test side, but their performance against the Chiefs provided "some fairly simple answers".

"The players have got to be honest, go away, look in the mirror and learn from what happened," he said.

"There were a lot of fringe players out there trying to put a hand up and make a statement for selection on Saturday, but unfortunately that didn't happen."

Wales lost the first Test 39-21 in Auckland and the All Blacks are heavy favourites going into the second.

Wales have not beaten the All Blacks since 1953 and have never defeated them on New Zealand soil in eight attempts.

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