Best to lead Lions against Hurricanes
- Author: Julie Sanders Jun 26, 2017,
Jun 26, 2017, 4:43
But Gatland, who now switches his attention to their last midweek match against the Hurricanes, believes the Lions can address their shortcomings in time for the second Test in Wellington next Saturday.
A hard-fought test gave the 2016 World Player of the Year few opportunities to showcase his more sublime skills but there were gasps from Lions and All Blacks fans alike at a one-handed pick-up of the ball in the first half.
Gatland admitted he had warned his Lions to expect a route-one assault from the All Blacks, and now the tourists will bid to sharpen up their tight game this week.
"We created chances and shifted the ball pretty well". The All Blacks haven't played champagne rugby in throwing the ball all over the place. "So we'll probably just get some clarity from the ref later in the week".
"Only your very best will ever beat the All Blacks, especially at Eden Park, and frustratingly we did not see the best of the Lions on Saturday", Woodward wrote in his Mail on Sunday column.
We needed to stop the Springboks' driving maul while competing better at the scrum.
After the match, Gatland called for his men to be more physical, while counterpart Steve Hansen mocked the Lions' presumptions of front-five dominance.
The two sides now travel to Wellington for the second Test, with the Lions needing a win to keep the series alive.
The Lions nearly struck with another wonder score early in the second-half - Wllliams, Davies and Daly were again heavily involved - but New Zealand had just enough in defence to deny them, then Watson set off on a weaving run as the game continued at a relentless pace.
The All Blacks had a 13-8 lead at half-time.
"It was a well selected and prepared Lions side that under-performed on the one day they would have desperately hoped to step up a level", said Woodward.
New Zealand's ferocity in the forward exchanges, based on a powerful scrum and the combined brilliance of lock Brodie Retallick, flanker Sam Cane and number eight Kieran Read left the Lions reeling.
"We have to regroup, have a good look at that and move on now".
"We're just going to have to make sure that, if they do employ those tactics next week, that we're much better at stopping that momentum".
All Black Ryan Crotty had to limp off with a hamstring injury and was replaced with Anton Lienert-Brown.
George Kruis will sit on the bench along with the "geography six" - Kristian Dacey, Allan Dell, Tom Francis, Cory Hill, Gareth Davies and Finn Russell - the last-minute call-ups who warmed the bench last week against the Chiefs.