Outmuscle All Blacks
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).