Woodward: Tough to judge

British and Irish Lions coach Sir Clive Woodward admitted he did not learn too much from the Northern Hemisphere's 54-19 defeat at the hands of the Southern Hemisphere in the Tsunami aid match at Twickenham. [more]

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British and Irish Lions coach Sir Clive Woodward admitted he did not learn too much from the Northern Hemisphere’s 54-19 defeat at the hands of the Southern Hemisphere in the Tsunami aid match at Twickenham.

Woodward, England’s 2003 World Cup-winning coach who organised the Northern Hemisphere side, took the opportunity to run the rule over a number of contenders for the British Lions squad he is taking to New Zealand in the summer.

But he admitted: "It’s tough to judge from this sort of game. They were up against a pretty good side.

"They had too much quality for us. The experience of all those international captains was outstanding."

And Lawrence Dallaglio put the cause before the score as he reflected on the heavy defeat for the North, whose selection had been restricted by Six Nations considerations.

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"When I looked at their line-up, with all the star names in it, I knew it was going to be very hard," he said.

"As professionals we would all have liked to have made the score more respectable but it was more about raising the money.

"More than 1,000 schools were destroyed by the Tsunami and this money will go towards rebuilding them."

Dallaglio, whose sister died in the Marchioness disaster on the River Thames in 1989, said: "A lot of people lost their lives through something that wasn’t their fault.

"I’ve lost someone very close to me from something that wasn’t their fault so it meant a lot to me."

He praised the Southern Hemisphere stars, who included George Gregan, Tana Umaga and John Smit, the respective captains of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, for their superb response to the call to play in the game.

Dallaglio described the opening half hour as "incredibly fast" and said: "They had a lot of experience in the forwards and we never really had a platform from which to play.

"They skimmed the ball off the top and punished us after turnovers."

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