Published: Mon, June 26, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Gatland says All Blacks targeting Murray with 'dangerous' dives

Gatland says All Blacks targeting Murray with 'dangerous' dives

"Test matches are special occasions and there's a lot of hard work went in to get that win and then we'll come together again in the morning and start our preparation for next week".

Asked whether his side could still force a close series, the New Zealander said: "Absolutely, I thought we created some great chances, played some lovely rugby and scored some nice tries".

"If I was playing on Saturday night and I felt that I was physically dominated, I would be a little bit disappointed in myself and I would be doing everything I could physically do the following week to make sure I fixed that area of the game. So I'll just be asking politely that the officials look at that and make sure they protect him".

Playing for the first time in almost seven weeks, Read lead the way in the 30-15 win against the Lions.

I am only speculating but I believe Warren Gatland will recognise he has to pick more mobility in his makeup for Wellington to stay with the All Blacks intensity and tempo.

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Rory Best will captain the British and Irish Lions for his side's next game against the Hurricanes in Wellington on Tuesday.

England lock George Kruis is on bench duty against the Hurricanes in among the gang of six replacements that were summoned purely to enable the Test squad to prepare unencumbered by midweek match duties.

"Only your very best will ever beat the All Blacks, especially at Eden Park, and frustratingly we did not see the best of the Lions on Saturday", Woodward wrote in his Mail on Sunday column.

And Gatland acknowledged that this has been an issue for Murray before, with the Lions boss questioning the motivation behind the All Blacks' efforts.

"They didn't really play champagne rugby did they?" said Gatland.

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The world champions turned 13-8 ahead after an absorbing first half but they took charge in the second period, in which the Lions' lone score was Rhys Webb's try at the death.

As they prepare for another tough week in New Zealand, one they hope will end with them back in contention in the Test series, the British & Irish Lions can not allow themselves to be too negative.

A fourth All Black, flanker Vaea Fifita, will also line up against the Lions, having recently made his debut for New Zealand in the 78-0 thrashing of Samoa nine days ago. "If we had played that way and won the game it would have been interesting to see the reaction", said the New Zealander.

Instead the Lions persisted with trying to prove their declared aim of being the best forward pack in the world and Hansen said they lost that battle too. Instead New Zealand went direct, in a bid to negate the Lions' hugely-impressive defensive line speed.

"We've been put under pressure by a seriously good side at times but we've got to be more clinical". They did all those things and were very physical at the breakdown.

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"We've got a huge Test coming up next week and we've got to recover now and regroup".

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