Mike Phillips: We believe we can topple world champions

Campaign Series: NEVER SAY DIE: Wales scrum half Mike Phillips NEVER SAY DIE: Wales scrum half Mike Phillips

WALES are confident of causing a major upset by toppling world champions New Zealand and recording their first victory over the All Blacks since 1953.

That’s the view of scrum half Mike Phillips who urges his teammates to raise their game, as well as the roof at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday evening.

Wales face the world’s best team by a mile, World Cup winners and runaway holders of the inaugural Rugby Championship, on the back of two humiliating defeats.

Argentina and Samoa both triumphed with ease in Cardiff this month, Wales going from Grand Slam holding heroes to zeroes in successive weeks and now five games without a win.

So far on their tour of Europe, New Zealand have swatted away Scotland 51-22 in Edinburgh and Italy 42-10 in Rome to maintain an unbeaten record stretching to 19 games.

Wales are 11-1 rank outsiders to win on Saturday with Richie McCaw’s mean machine 1-12 – the hosts are this weekend’s autumn internationals big underdogs with the bookies offering better odds on the Azzurri to beat Australia.

A home win would be up there with other major shock wins over New Zealand in recent times, like the one South Africa pulled off in the 1995 World Cup final and that of France in the 1999 and 2007 tournaments.

On being asked if Wales were ever confident of beating the All Blacks, Phillips, who win his 71st cap on Saturday, replied: "I think so. Quietly. I think you have to believe in yourself.

"We’ve had a little bit of success over the last couple of years.

"It’s a massive game and we need to be confident and we need to have that belief individually and as a team to hopefully get the win, but it’s going to be a tough ask.

"I think we can go out there and put a performance together. There are ways of winning games. You have to win at the set piece and do things throughout that 80 minutes to get the victory.

"If we perform well defensively, pick the right options in attack, then hopefully we can be there or thereabouts and get a victory.

"We are obviously bitterly disappointed with the first two games and it gives us a chance to put things right," added the Bayonne No 9.

"We want to put some pride and passion back into that jersey. There’s always pressure on us when we are playing for Wales and everyone expects us to perform well. Whenever you’ve got the Wales jersey on, you want to give it your best shot and improve as much as you can and enjoy it as well.

"I’ve certainly enjoyed playing for Wales over the years and hopefully this will be a game to remember."

Comments (3)

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11:45am Wed 21 Nov 12

schlep says...

Get real !!!
We are no where near as consistent a team as the AB's as proved over recent weekends. How can anybody think we can win other than the AB's have maybe 5 players sent of during the game (all at once that is).
Get real !!! We are no where near as consistent a team as the AB's as proved over recent weekends. How can anybody think we can win other than the AB's have maybe 5 players sent of during the game (all at once that is). schlep

8:57pm Wed 21 Nov 12

Keith Barnett says...

Ha ha ha - good one Mike!
Ha ha ha - good one Mike! Keith Barnett

8:08am Thu 22 Nov 12

wilkolima says...

Highly delusional. Signs of premature dementia. No way, José!

Is it just me, or does anyone else think that Mike P is highly overrated? He cannot clear the ball from a scrum, ruck or maul in one swift movement; while other no.9s consider their moves before handling the ball, he picks up and then starts to think, taking too long to pass the ball out effectively - but long enough to get swamped by his opponents. And then there are his ridiculous, cowardly or thoughtless 'clear out' kicks that just give away possession and/or territory. OK, so he occasionally gets things right, but what mediocre scrum half doesn't?

This goes to show a desperate state of affairs in Welsh rugby when he is considered the best available for call up...and when the man himself really believes the All Blacks are in for a tumble.
Highly delusional. Signs of premature dementia. No way, José! Is it just me, or does anyone else think that Mike P is highly overrated? He cannot clear the ball from a scrum, ruck or maul in one swift movement; while other no.9s consider their moves before handling the ball, he picks up and then starts to think, taking too long to pass the ball out effectively - but long enough to get swamped by his opponents. And then there are his ridiculous, cowardly or thoughtless 'clear out' kicks that just give away possession and/or territory. OK, so he occasionally gets things right, but what mediocre scrum half doesn't? This goes to show a desperate state of affairs in Welsh rugby when he is considered the best available for call up...and when the man himself really believes the All Blacks are in for a tumble. wilkolima

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