Catt gets Lion’s shirt

Lewie Catt was the proudest man in Newcastle on Tuesday night as he went home after facing the British & Irish Lions clutching Brian O'Driscoll's jersey as a memento of the greatest day of his rugby career. [more]

Lions Australia Tour 2013

Lewie Catt was the proudest man in Newcastle on Tuesday night as he went home after facing the British & Irish Lions clutching Brian O’Driscoll’s jersey as a memento of the greatest day of his rugby career.

The 25-year-old electrical engineer had the time of his life marking the 131 times capped Irish legend in The Lions’ 64-0 triumph at the Hunter Stadium and will return to work on Thursday with plenty of stories to tell his colleagues.

“The souvenir is great, but the experience is better. In the first couple of minutes we were all a bit like rabbits in the headlights, but after that we settled,” said Catt, who wore O’Driscoll’s match shirt to the post-match press conference.

“We stuck at it like good country boys and we gave it a go in the second half. They will be sore in the morning after some of the hits we put in on them.”

The Combined Country XV skipper, No8 Tim Davidson, is hoping to have a second crack at the Lions when they meet the Melbourne Rebels in the build up to the second Test, but he knows that will be another tough ask.

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“It was a huge honour to be able to play against such a great team as The Lions and I really hope a fixture like this can continue. It does so much to spread the rugby gospel in the country areas and I couldn’t be more proud of the effort my players put into the game,” said Davidson.

“We missed a couple of one-on-ones in the first half, but at half-time we said that the longer we could keep them out, the more mistakes they would make. That’s exactly how it worked out and I couldn’t have asked for any more from my players.

“I think we showed the Wallabies how to play against them in the Test series. If they can push them to phase play then they can force them into making some mistakes.

“But The Lions will only get better before the Test series starts and the momentum they are building is very good.”

Combined Country XV head coach Cameron Blades was also full of praise for the tourists and predicted a wonderful series against the Wallabies.

“The Lions are an outstanding side, but we showed in the second half that if you can get in their faces they can make mistakes. They are so organised at the set-pieces, although we stood up well against them at the scrums in the second half,” said Blades.

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