All Blacks can't scrum, says Gatland

Solenn Plantier
Juin 20, 2017

The British and Irish Lions roared back from this week's shock defeat to end the Canterbury Crusaders' unbeaten streak 12-3 as they finally hit form in New Zealand on Saturday. "I keep repeating myself, but the more time we have together, the better we will get", Gatland said.

He was an 11th-hour inclusion in the 41-man touring party after head coach Gatland demanded his addition in last-minute selection meetings.

"They don't play to the law of the game so Super Rugby sides tend to scrummage illegally then, if that's the case", Gatland said.

"And that's been challenging". That has been challenging for us all.

The Lions led 9-3 at the half-time break.

"I don't think it's nerves or a frantic nature", he said. I want to prove myself on the big stage and there's no better place to do it.

Lions coach Warren Gatland named a completely new starting 15 on Sunday and the New Zealander can expect another bruising test of his side's credentials with the three-match series against the All Blacks looming on the horizon.

Biggar is a fighter, a quality Warren Gatland admires and memories of the 2015 Rugby World Cup and his assured performances are reminder enough of his skill at fly-half but he does face a stern test to secure the No.10 shirt.

And Saturday's win came a price with full back Stuart Hogg and centre Jonathan Davies both forced off with head injuries, while Dan Biggar missed out following a head injury against the Blues.

Owen Farrell capped an inside-back masterclass with all the tourists' points as the Lions announced their true arrival in the Land of the Long White Cloud. You have to give them a chance. Conor Murray was outstanding. Things are looking up for the Lions, and who'd have thought that after the loss to the Blues?

"A high paced, breakneck speed, side-to-side type of game with an attacking kicking game that is very threatening as well so we have got it all on Tuesday night". I could hear that he wasn't communicating much, so the players had to be self-disciplined and the Crusaders lost on that score too.

"We as players have to have thick skins and we are all experienced players as well so we are used to dealing with that". "There are times when you need to be pragmatic and take the points in a tight game any way you can", he wrote.

Asked if he learned anything new from the Lions' performance, Robertson said: "No". Super Rugby is played in the summer. The Lions have made a statement that they are going to be competitive come Test match time and that's critical for our great game. "I think everyone should be a leader in defence".

Not only has it injected some self-belief but the manner of the win, despite no try being scored, will worry All Blacks coach Steve Hansen. And he'll look hard at them, their kick-chase and things like that.

"A contest is about presenting a challenge, posing questions and the Lions did that.kicking is a huge part of the modern game and has been part of the All Blacks armoury for some years".

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