Out­mus­cle All Blacks

Irish Examiner - Sport - - RUGBY -

found be­tween bring­ing ex­tra phys­i­cal­ity and tem­per­ing illd­is­ci­pline and that height­ened emo­tion he spoke about di­alling back down.

“The two big points that came out this week were the games where we’ve done well, which were the Maori and the Cru­saders, we kept the penalty count to sin­gle fig­ures which wasn’t the case last Satur­day.

“In rugby it’s very much a case of 99 times out of 100 the more phys­i­cal side wins. Peo­ple might not like to hear that but it is the truth. Be­ing phys­i­cal doesn’t mean beat­ing peo­ple up, it means your scrum is dom­i­nant, your li­ne­out is dom­i­nant, your break­down is dom­i­nant and that’s the ma­jor­ity of the game re­ally, apart from the kick­ing side.

“That has to im­prove this week­end, I think the guys that have been brought in can add a bit of strength to that. Maro’s great on the floor as well, a great li­ne­out ath­lete and I’m look­ing for­ward to see him go.

“For me per­son­ally, it’s the first time I’ve played with (open­side flanker) Sean O’brien, I’ve played against him many times and I’ve been in the same Li­ons squad as him twice but I’ve never had the priv­i­lege of play­ing with him. He’s some­body who I re­gard as one of the best sevens I’ve played against re­ally, so I’m look­ing for­ward to that part­ner­ship.”

If all goes to plan, the Li­ons for­wards will rel­ish the ter­ri­tory gains from the boots of Conor Mur­ray and a new start­ing 10-12 part­ner­ship of Johnny Sex­ton and Owen Far­rell but it is down to War­bur­ton and his pack to lay the foun­da­tions, which means a big­ger im­pact at both the scrum and break­down.

If they fail to up the phys­i­cal­ity from the lev­els on dis­play at Eden Park last week, then yet an­other Li­ons tour to the Long White Cloud could be blown away in windy Welling­ton. NEW ZEALAND: I Dagg; W Naholo, A Lienert-brown, SB Wil­liams, R Ioane; B Bar­rett, A Smith; J Moody, C Tay­lor, O Franks; B Retallick, S Whitelock; J Kaino, S Cane, K Read – cap­tain. Re­place­ments: N Har­ris, W Crock­ett, C Fau­muina, S Bar­rett, A Savea, TJ Per­e­nara, A Cru­den, N Laumape.

BRI­TISH & IRISH LI­ONS: L Wil­liams; A Wat­son, J Davies, O Far­rell, E Daly; J Sex­ton, C Mur­ray; M Vu­nipola, J Ge­orge, T Fur­long; A W Jones, M Itoje; S War­bur­ton – cap­tain, S O’brien, T Faletau.

Re­place­ments: K Owens, J Mcgrath, K Sinck­ler, C Lawes, CJ Stander, R Webb, B Te’o, J Now­ell.

Ref­eree: Jerome Garces (France).

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