Rory Best praises response of Lions dirt-trackers after victory over Chiefs
- Author: Zachary Reyes Jun 21, 2017,
Jun 21, 2017, 23:40
"You ask anyone walking down the street, and they will talk about previous tours, whether it be the Lions or other global sides, playing three-Test series".
It is encouraging, therefore, that the noises coming from the camp suggest they are confident they can win.
"It is going to be even tougher". Steve Borthwick will know the All Blacks' lineout calls better than his own, Graham Rowntree will know the ins and outs of their scrum.
The first Test team will be announced Wednesday evening and these midweek players know they are unlikely to be included, but they know there are three Tests and they played like they wanted to be involved in at least one of them.
I've given up trying to guess what Gats is going to do. It didn't happen, but we are pretty satisfied.
"We're very happy", Lions captain Rory Best said. "We have always said how hard this tour was, we known how tough the schedule is and the quality opposition".
Best was skipper four years ago in Australia when the Lions lost to the Brumbies in Canberra in the final tour game before the Test series and that memory shaped his pre-match conversations with the rest of the team. "If I got anywhere near it, it would be unbelievable".
"You've got to trust what you've always done to set yourself up to play well".
"Obviously, he (Gatland) has tried to highlight some things he doesn't think we are doing very well".
And that's what they got, with Jack Nowell impressing. I like working for him, he has a nice intensity about him, without being too open with that.
"He has had his first real solid hit-out with contact and everything, and hopefully he comes through that really well by the end of the day, and then it becomes a reasonably easy decision".
The match followed the familiar pattern of the tour for the first 60 minutes as the Lions used a dominant set piece, accurate kicking and suffocating defense to wear down their opponents.
"It hasn't come a lot for the wingers - it's been wet and drizzly - but the main thing is we are pushing each other, helping each other".
"We picked ourselves off the ground and did well". They looked hurried and flustered - playing behind the gainline for long periods and short of patience and ideas.
Chiefs captain Stephen Donald passes the ball as he is tackled by British & Irish Lions players at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton, New Zealand, Tuesday, June 20, 2017.
The Chiefs, severely weakened as they were stripped of their All Blacks, struggled to find a footing in the game and were made to pay by a rampant Lions side who are building momentum just at the right time.
There are just a couple of bench spots left up for grabs for Auckland on Saturday and England utility Elliot Daly looks to have fought off the challenges of Jack Nowell and Liam Williams for the back three reserve.
Yesterday, they added some free-running back-play to the mix in playable conditions, but it remains to be seen whether that carries through to the Tests.