Rob Howley (right) and Warren Gatland know Wales must start today's game well
Rob Howley believes Wales are capable of beating the All Blacks but says they must start today's game well.
What you don't want to give them is an early opportunity to get on the score board. It's absolutely vital that we start well.
World Champions New Zealand pose the ultimate attacking threat and Howley knows Wales need to be on their guard for the full 80 minutes.
"When you're playing against the world's best side, every minute counts," he said.
"What you don't want to give them is an early opportunity to get on the score board. It's absolutely vital that we start well.
"Having looked back at the last game when we played them in 2010, it's important to dominate possession and territory early on.
"It's a special game when you play New Zealand, history has shown that. From a player's perspective you have to use what's happened over the last two weeks to be better. We've spoken about that and using it as motivation."
The All Blacks will be without star man Dan Carter after he suffered a leg injury in training on Thursday. His place at fly-half is taken by Aaron Cruden with Beauden Barrett replacing Cruden on the bench.
Both sides have played down Carter's absence and Howley says the change doesn't alter Wales' game plan.
"Aaron Cruden has been pretty special in the Rugby Championship when he's had a chance, he's a real running threat with ball in hand," he added.
"Nothing changes for us. Obviously he's right footed as opposed to left footed and things change defensively a little bit but there are some special players in that All Blacks side."
Wales have some special players of their own though and one of those who will be looking to take his chance today is Scarlet Liam Williams. He replaces his regional teammate George North on the left wing and Howley has hailed the attributes he brings to the team.
"Liam has settled in really well. George took a bang early in the week so Liam has prepared in and out over the last four days," said Howley.
"He's very comfortable on the ball. Obviously he's played on the left wing before and played full back so his aerial skills are very good and he's a finisher.
"He may not have the physical attributes of George but he's very quick and we want to make use of that speed, get the ball to our wings and give them more opportunities than they have in recent weeks.
"When you play New Zealand you have to ask them questions with ball in hand and think out of the box. It's high risk and high reward so we're looking forward to that."
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