Sabato, 22 Settembre, 2018

Gatland cagey on Test selection after Chiefs win

Pammachio Corsino | 21 Giugno, 2017, 10:23

"I've not done anything different, the team's not done anything different, we just know if we build phases hopefully we can get on the end of them", said Nowell.

Donald's penalty on the stroke of half-time was the only source of frustration for the Lions in an otherwise excellent first half, as it ensured they would only go in seven points ahead despite their dominant performance.

Head coach Warren Gatland, however, has repeated the mantra that those who missed out on the first test at Eden Park, could still press for inclusion later in the series due to injury, a drop in form or combinations not working as well as envisaged.

"The attacking play just comes from spending time together".

British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland has called on his midweek lineup to continue the momentum gained with last weekend's win over the New Zealand Maori in Tuesday's tour match against the Chiefs at Hamilton. The filters down to the Super Rugby franchises and even a depleted Chiefs lineup will have the ability to score points if they make the initial cut through the Lions defense. "We've got better in every game we've played and to limit the Chiefs to six points was flawless for us".

As the first test against New Zealand rushes towards us on June 24th, the general expectation is that the All Blacks will be confident of swatting away the challenge posed by the British and Irish Lions.

While the team to play the All Blacks in Auckland is probably already settled, plenty of the Lions' second-stringers put their hands up to feature later in the test series. We have seen throughout this tour that the New Zealand teams have struggled when their 10s get the ball with few attacking ideas because all they see in their peripheral vision are red jerseys outside them.


Poor discipline could have also cost them when Harlequins prop Joe Marler was sin-binned for a late tackle, but his replacement Alan Dell excelled.

Lions tour captain Sam Warburton has been struggling in his comeback from a knee injury and may concede the test captaincy to Ireland's Peter O'Mahony, while All Blacks captain Kieran Read will return after an nearly two-month layoff with a broken thumb. The biggest accolade I can give him is the way he grew people around him.

Lions forward coach Graham Rowntree said the All Blacks are the best in the world, but says his team is growing stronger.

"When the half-back runs and you're turning up in and around the place, you're going to get the ball eventually".

Of note were Liam Williams, finally looking like the player he is on this tour, whose line breaking and deftness under the high ball was a pleasure to watch.

It took three games but it all clicked tonight. The No.8 has been out with a broken thumb since April but 97-times capped Read is set to be passed fit. "It adds another little variable to the game", Foster said. Regardless of what happens off the back of this, don't regret this fixture, don't regret the way you perform, that was something we really tried to channel and produce a performance from.

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