Warren Gatland praises Irish star when asked about Test team

Solenn Plantier
Juin 25, 2017

The tactic and Murray's execution were key in victory for Warren Gatland's side.

Captain Alun Wyn Jones called it a "confidence-boosting win", as Gatland singled out the Lions lineout and the tactical kicking of Conor Murray for special praise. They are so obsessed with their own game that they forget other teams exist.

'Because he got a head knock in the first game and hasn't had that much game time.

What there isn't in the group though is a defensive leader.

The Lions had a 9-3 lead at halftime and Farrell appeared to have slotted his fourth penalty in the 45th minute but the assistant referees did not raise their flags as the ball soared high above one upright.

Both of those things could happen if the Lions do not treat the Highlanders match with caution.

The first two successful Lions tours, in 1971 and 1974, had a national pair of half-backs, Gareth Edwards partnering first Barry John and then Phil Bennett, and in South Africa in 1997 Matt Dawson and Gregor Townsend both played for Northampton.

Henry defended the Lions' performances so far, saying that their lack of game time together is a major factor. He's the type of guy who doesn't shirk a challenge and when you are in the dressing room preparing to play the world champions, O'Brien is someone you would want going into battle alongside you.

Billy Vunipola's withdrawal from the squad due to a shoulder injury was billed as a serious blow to the Lions chances before they had even got on the plane.

The big thing was they dominated possession and their defence was outstanding. "I have to deliver in that area on Tuesday".

"We worked hard on our defense, on getting off the line and putting them under some pressure", he said.

Despite beating the Crusaders, Warren Gatland's men were criticised for their profligacy in attack; the Lions failed to cross the try line in the 12-3 victory.

They are somewhere in between and everyone in the squad - coaches and players - will know that.

"In Super Rugby they pre-load".

Gatland took aim at critics who had written off his team after week one in New Zealand.

Gatland hit back, commending Raynal for cracking down on methods which he says are prevalent in the Kiwi game. "We felt we'd improved in the second half and it was another step up tonight ..." That's why I find it so fascinating.

"Sam Warburton hadn't had a lot of rugby under his belt so it was important to get him involved for this game".

The Lions have emphasized the importance of not losing momentum achieved against the Crusaders or falling away from the form benchmark. He showed a bit of emotion when he reacted to the question about "Warrenball", and I don't think there is a huge amount wrong with that. The Scot was sent to a specialist for assessment today and Farrell insists they are willing to give him as long as it takes for him to return. So Super Rugby sides tend to scrummage illegally, if that's the case.

"You have to impose yourself on these teams; I'm not saying it's the go-to, but it's certainly part of what we're trying to do".

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