Bowe wants to banish Melbourne heartbreak

The heartbreak of Melbourne is all set to drive the British & Irish Lions on to write their names into the rugby history books in Sydney this weekend, according to Irish wing Tommy Bowe. [more]

Bowe wants to banish Melbourne heartbreak

The heartbreak of Melbourne is all set to drive the British & Irish Lions on to write their names into the rugby history books in Sydney this weekend, according to Irish wing Tommy Bowe.

It has been 16 long years since the Lions last won a series and Sam Warburton’s men got within a couple of points of achieving their goal at the Etihad Stadium last weekend.

In the end, though, Adam Ashley-Cooper’s try and Christian Leali’ifano’s ice-cool conversion six minutes from time condemned the Lions to a 16-15 defeat. Chance lost, series back in the balance.

But Bowe believes there is one final fling in the 2013 Lions and that with a big, ball carrying pack in front of him he and the rest of the Lions’ back line will see much more of the ball than in Melbourne.

“It was just one of those games last week, unfortunately. I did a lot of chasing kicks, we didn’t have very much possession and we did a lot of defending,” said Bowe.

Google Ad Manager – In Article

“With as big a side as we have picked here for tomorrow, hopefully, we’ll be getting a lot of ball and getting on the front foot. We have to play rugby.

“Last week we did so much defending, we were on the back foot an awful lot and, when we had it, we kicked it away. This week, if we can play rugby, we can do a lot of damage, certainly with a lot of the players we’ve got in this team.

“There are huge ball carriers there. If we can hold on to the ball, keep battering over the top of the Aussies, hopefully, it will cause a bit of damage.”

Bowe had to battle back from an operation on a broken hand earlier in the tour and miraculously made the second Test.
Other injured players weren’t so lucky, like Cian Healy and Gethin Jenkins, who went home, and Paul O’Connell, who stayed in camp.

And Bowe had a special word for arguably this week’s most disappointed player, Brian O’Driscoll, who was left out as one of six changes to the starting line-up for Saturday night.

“Brian Tweeted and said he’s majorly disappointed, but he’s 100 per cent behind the team. It would be very easy for him to go off tour now, and go off on the lash or whatever, but he was there training yesterday, he’s been there first thing this morning,” said Bowe.

“He trained with the team, he spoke up, he told us exactly what it meant to him again. Everybody knows the disappointment he has for not being involved, but for a guy like that, who has such a presence around the squad, to really be rallying around the team, to really want us to push on to win the series, it’s a huge motivation for us to go out and do the job for him as well.

“Obviously, he’ll be bitterly disappointed he’s not involved but, at the end of the day, we need to win the series. Unfortunately for Brian he’s not involved but we need to go out there and put that behind us and do the job.”

Bowe tasted the bitter disappointment of failure in the series in South Africa four years ago when the Lions were beaten by a last-gasp penalty in the second Test in Pretoria before going on to win by a record equalling in Johannesburg.

But now history is beckoning the 2013 Lions to end the long wait for another series victory. When Martin Johnson’s Lions walked in 1997 in South Africa, so Warburton’s men want to follow in 2013.

“We realise that it’s been16 years since we last won a Lions series. The excitement and the hype over the last match, with everyone hoping to go on and finish it off with a 2-0 win, would have been an amazing way to go,” admitted Bowe.

“It was heartbreaking to lose out to a try in the last six minutes. We’ve taken a lot from that, we’ve regrouped and we’ll leave everything out on the pitch tomorrow.

“We had a great session today – very upbeat, good skill levels, and that’s exactly what we need before a tough match tomorrow. We’ve had three, tough intense days of training.

“We had a nice couple of days off in Noosa to get away from it for a bit, but certainly the last three days training has been intense. There’s no real feeling like it’s the last game of the season – tomorrow is a do or die match and we’re fully up for it.”

Previous story Will well on way to top award.
Next story Indescribable for Alun Wyn
Download