British & Irish Lions 2013

Lions are like Bulls

Fri, 07 Jun 2013 10:12
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They were large, physical forwards and they looked to impose themselves
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Western Force flank Richard Brown has likened the British and Irish Lons to South African Super Rugby side the Bulls.

Brown crossed for the Perth-based team at in the Lions' comfortable 69-17 win at Paterson's Stadium and immediately drew similarities with the intensity associated with facing South Africa's most physically imposing franchise in Pretoria.

But while he was complimentary about the size and power of the Lions' pack, the former Australian international loose forward didn't feel the visitors were as dominant as they would have liked up front.

"I liken it to playing the Bulls. They were large, physical forwards and they looked to impose themselves in the contact area," said Brown, who believes Wallabies boss Robbie Deans will have learnt a lot from the match.

"But I thought we got a lot of gain and a lot of good momentum close to the ruck through a forward-orientated game. I didn't think we'd have that much success in that area.

"We traditionally don't play a very expansive game here at the Force so that kind of suits us but I thought they were going to be a bit stronger in that area than they were.

"The Wallabies are smart enough to recognise where we had success, with attacking close to the ruck. They'll see that as a potential area they can exploit.

"The Lions' scrum wasn't as dominant as people were predicting. They might have underestimated us at scrum time.

"Our guys have had time together and these guys are still coming together as far as combinations and being comfortable together. I think they'll take leaps and bounds when it comes to improving," he told lionsrugby.com.

Brown was more impressed with the way the Lions used the ball out wide, regularly gaining yardage in the wide channels and keeping play alive wherever possible.

He admitted that wasn't the style of game he was expecting to see from Britain and Ireland's elite and that the Lions' first game on Australian soil may have just made some of the locals re-assess their opinions of how Warren Gatland's team will approach the first Test on June 22.

"They attacked down the wider channels more effectively than I thought they would," added Brown.

"I didn't think they'd go there that often, but we may have shown them that space and they were good enough to recognise it and take advantage of it. When they did get momentum, it did roll on.

"They're not just going to play a kicking game - they're going to throw it wide and attack down the wide channels. They're not one dimensional, as some people have labelled them."

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