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

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Thu, 23 February 2017
Rebels v Blues 08h45 Melbourne
Fri, 24 February 2017
Highlanders v Chiefs 06h35 Dunedin
Reds v Sharks 09h00 Brisbane
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers 17h45 Twickenham Stoop
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 19h05 Myreside
Dragons v Leinster 19h30 Rodney Parade
Munster v Scarlets 19h35 Thomond Park
Sat, 25 February 2017
Sunwolves v Hurricanes 04h15 Tokyo
Crusaders v Brumbies 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Force 08h45 Allianz Park
Saracens v Sale Sharks 12h45 Allianz Park
Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Franklin's Gardens
Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons 13h00 Sandy Park
Cheetahs v Lions 13h05 Bloemfontein
Scotland v Wales 14h25 BT Murrayfield
Kings v Jaguares 15h15 Port Elizabeth
Ireland v France 16h50 Aviva Stadium
Stormers v Bulls 17h30 Cape Town
Sun, 26 February 2017
Bristol v Bath 11h00 Ashton Gate
Zebre v Ulster 12h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Wasps v Gloucester 12h30 Ricoh Arena
Treviso v Connacht 12h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h05 Liberty Stadium
England v Italy 15h00 Twickenham Stadium
Mon, 27 February 2017
UCT-Ikeys v Maties 14h45 Cape Town
CUT-Ixias v UJ 16h30 Bloemfontein
Rhodes v Fort Hare 16h30 Grahamstown
CPUT v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Cape Town
UWC v TUT 16h30 Cape Town
UP-Tuks v Wits 16h30 Pretoria
Shimlas v NWU-Pukke 17h00 Bloemfontein
B&I LIONS
MORE LOGS