Decent defensive test says Farrell

Defence coach Andy Farrell believes the British & Irish Lions will learn a great deal from their defensive display in today's convincing win over the Western Force. [more]

Decent defensive test says Farrell

Defence coach Andy Farrell believes the British & Irish Lions will learn a great deal from their defensive display in today’s convincing win over the Western Force.

The Lions touched down for nine tries at Paterson Stadium as they ran out 69-17 winners in Perth but they conceded two scores themselves along the way.

Farrell says the manner in which their line was breached close in will help the squad improve defensively in the coming weeks as they build up to a mouth-watering three-match Test series with the Qantas Wallabies later this month.

“It was good for us,” said Farrell, immediately after the first game on the Australian leg of The Lions’ 125th anniversary Tour.

“There were a few things that we have been working on. The lads have got a first hit out and for the first time you can show them some pictures of how to put it right again.

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“The Force tested us in some key areas that we will be tested in a lot on this tour. It’s good to get some pictures and to sort it out as early as we can.

“They had quite a bit of success in pretty tight with the pick and go and around the ruck area. That’s quite an important area so it’s a good lesson for us.

“They kept coming, they kept coming hard and strong right until the 80th minute and there was a challenge for us. It was good to get some defending finally.”

Next stop for The Lions is Saturday’s clash with the Queensland Reds, a game in which head coach Warren Gatland is expecting Farrell’s defensive organisation to be put under greater pressure.

Gatland felt his side could take plenty out of their trip to the West Coast but he admits that the opposition could have been a little stronger – something he thinks The Lions will definitely encounter in Brisbane.

“It was good hit out for these guys,” said Gatland.

“It was about us, I wasn’t worried about the opposition. I think we’re going to get a tougher game on Saturday against the Reds.

“The Force were thinking about their Super Rugby game and made a few changes. That’s their prerogative.

“Ideally, we’d liked to have played against a stronger side but we just made the focus about ourselves. I’m sure that the Reds will be a lot tougher.”

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