The Official Online RBS 6 Nations Store is open. The store has everything you need to get behind your team during the RBS 6 Nations, plus the store is now fully stocked with a much wider range of rugby merchandise.
In Gatland’s absence the Grand Slam winners had lost to both Argentina and Samoa, and their poor autumn campaign never looked like getting better against the All Blacks, who led 23-0 at the break.
Aaron Cruden converted Liam Messam and Tony Woodcock tries while also landing three penalties in the first half, and it was 33-0 from a fourth penalty and a Luke Romano try.
Scott Williams and Alex Cuthbert tries gave the scoreline some respectability, with Gatland keen to accentuate the positives.
“It took us a while to come to the level, pace and intensity of the All Blacks but we grew into the game,” he said.
“I thought it was an outstanding second-half performance. We really took the game to the All Blacks in the second half and I am proud of the way we finished and the way we dominated territorial possession in the second half.
“Unfortunately we weren’t able to do it in the first half and the game went away from us.”
Gatland’s men, already decimated through injuries, suffered the loss of three more inside the opening quarter, with two in the first two minutes.
Bradley Davies went off following an off the ball incident involving Andrew Hore, with Aaron Jarvis and Jamie Roberts following soon after.
“It was disappointing to lose Bradley,” admitted Gatland. “I thought there was something off the ball.
“I haven’t had a good look at it but it looks like he has been hit from behind. He suffered concussion and we had to get him to the hospital because he didn’t really know where he was.
“That was a massive loss, he’s a big ball carrier and to lose him so early. Then we lost Aaron and then Jamie.
“But we dug deep. I thought (Luke) Charteris was excellent and I thought (Sam) Warburton had an outstanding game, so I there were some really positive performances.”