Gatland taking positives from Auckland into second Test build-up

Warren Gatland saw plenty of positives for The British & Irish Lions at Eden Park which the squad can build on ahead of the second Test against New Zealand in Wellington. [more]

Gatland taking positives from Auckland into second Test build-up

The Lions scored a world class try from Sean O’Brien in the first-half in response to Codie Taylor’s earlier score with the visitors continuing to threaten with ball in hand.

But it was Rieko Ioane who twice managed to get over the line as the All Blacks won 30-15 with Rhys Webb dotting down in the final moments for the Lions.

And Gatland thought his side, who face the Hurricanes on Tuesday, played some excellent rugby in Auckland.

“We created some great chances, we played some lovely rugby and scored a couple of nice tries which was hugely positive,” he said.

“We switched off a little bit and they caught us with a quick tap. That’s fixable. From a kick a ball has gone through Liam Williams’ hands and bounced into Rieko Ioane’s arms and he’s scored from that.

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“Then there was a scrum advantage where we’ve missed a first-up tackle so for me those things are all fixable.

“I thought they played very well up front, they did a good job slowing our line speed. They came off nine, which got them some front foot ball and they were very good at the breakdown

“We need to learn from that and make sure we’re better in those areas next week.

“They were very direct in the way they played. They didn’t play a lot of throw the ball around, they just came and were physical up front. You have to give them credit for that.”

Webb’s score in the final play of the match demonstrated the fighting spirit the Lions showed throughout but it was too late to alter the result of the first Test.

But Lions captain Peter O’Mahony expects a few minor changes will make a big difference for the squad in Wellington.

“There’s huge positives to take and a couple of easy fixes as well,” he added.

“Our discipline really, if you are going to give away over seven or eight penalties, you are going to struggle, especially against a team of the quality of New Zealand.

“We had the opportunity just off the kick-off in the first half and almost same again in the second half and we didn’t convert two very good chances.”

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