Gatland praises gutsy Lions

Sat, 08 Jun 2013 16:00
Large warren gatland b i lions lo Large tommy bowe v reds630

Warren Gatland praised a gutsy effort by the British and Irish Lions after they held off a fierce assault by the Reds to register their third straight win.

Warren Gatland praised a gutsy effort by the British and Irish Lions on Saturday after they held off a fierce assault by the Reds to register their third straight win.

Gatland said the tough 22-12 victory, in a Test-style atmosphere at the venue where the Lions will play Australia on June 22, was just what his players needed after two big scorelines against the Barbarians and Western Force.

"It was exactly what we wanted," Gatland said. "We knew we were going to be a little bit heavy, or flat physically in the legs. It was a reminder to the players of what it means to an opposition team playing against the Lions."

In front of 50,000 fans at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium, the Reds flew out of the blocks and established an early lead after a brilliant solo try from Luke Morahan.

Scrumhalf Nick Frisby also went over in the second half as the Reds scored two tries to the Lions' one. But a steady six-from-six kicking performance from flyhalf Owen Farrell helped the visitors over the line.

"They came at us at 100 miles an hour in that first 20 minutes and the boys soaked up the pressure," Gatland said.

"From that point of view it was exactly what we wanted, realisation for the players about what it means to Australian players.

"And for us to soak up the pressure, and guts it out and come up with a win, I'm very proud of that performance."

The win came at a cost with Irish wing Tommy Bowe ruled out of the tour with a suspected broken hand - the third casualty in two days, after props Gethin Jenkins (calf) and Cian Healy (ankle).

But centre Manu Tuilagi was cleared of serious injury after leaving the field after 19 minutes. And the performance of Farrell, whose handling errors and brittle temper caused concerns against the Barbarians, also cheered Gatland.

"I thought he was great today," Gatland said of the young Englishman. "His composure, goal kicking, he ran well. Strong defensively.

"If he's not quite on form in one game, you rarely see that backed up the next time."

The Lions will be seeking their first Test series win since 1997 when they play their three games against Australia on June 22, June 29 and July 6.

AFP

Sharks vs Blue Bulls
sast: 14h30 | local: 14h30

  • 37 | 27
LIVE
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 21 October 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Leinster 12h00 Scotstoun
Treviso v Toulon 14h15 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Western Province v Golden Lions 15h00 Cape Town
Clermont Auvergne v Northampton Saints 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Munster v Racing Metro 16h30 Thomond Park
Leicester Tigers v Castres 16h30 Welford Road
Saracens v Ospreys 18h45 Allianz Park
Sun, 22 October 2017
Montpellier v Exeter Chiefs 12h00 Altrad Stadium
La Rochelle v Ulster 14h15 Paris
Wasps v Harlequins 16h30 Ricoh Arena
Fri, 27 October 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Kings 18h35 Scotstoun Stadium
Sale Sharks v Exeter Chiefs 18h45 AJ Bell Stadium
Ospreys v Dragons 19h35 Liberty Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Munster 19h35 Sportsground
BRITISH & IRISH LIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
B&I Lions 0 0 0 0 0
Australia 0 0 0 0 0
Barbarians 0 0 0 0 0
Force 0 0 0 0 0
Reds 0 0 0 0 0
Waratahs 0 0 0 0 0
Brumbies 0 0 0 0 0
Rebels 0 0 0 0 0
NSW-Queensland 0 0 0 0 0
Blues 0 0 0 0 0
Highlanders 0 0 0 0 0
Hurricanes 0 0 0 0 0
Crusaders 0 0 0 0 0
Chiefs 0 0 0 0 0
NZ Barbarians 0 0 0 0 0
Maori All Blacks 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0