Jones warns of All Blacks backlash

Mon, 03 Jul 2017 05:50

REACTION: Alun Wyn Jones is bracing for a furious All Blacks backlash when the British and Irish Lions arrive in Auckland for Saturday's third Test series decider.

But first the Wales lock is allowing himself a moment to savour the Lions' 24-21 win over a 14-man New Zealand in Wellington.

Jones was at the heart of an impressive display by the Lions pack at Westpac Stadium, more than justifying his selection after a lacklustre performance in the opening Test had critics calling for his head.

The 31-year-old said the tourists needed to rest and regroup before a clash with the back-to-back world champions in Auckland that will see them chase the first Lions series victory in New Zealand since 1971.

"We've got to make sure we enjoy this win because I've had similar occasions in the past and not enjoyed them," he told reporters before the squad headed to the South Island resort town of Queenstown for a break.

"We'll get the best out of everyone if we do enjoy it. Work sometimes becomes an obsession and that's not good. You have to realise where you are and what you're doing."

But he warned his teammates needed to be back at their best against the wounded All Blacks at Eden Park, where the hosts have not lost since 1994.

"It's still a level series and that's all it is at the moment. We stepped up from the first Test and there's no doubt that they'll do that this week. We need to build on this and be ready," he said.

"We're 1-1 and we've got a big week ahead. We need to switch off and recover, but then we'll look at those penalties and certain areas where we can probably play a little bit wider."

Jones was heartened that the Lions forwards finally combined to show what they were capable of as a unit in Wellington after performing only in fits and starts for much of the tour.

"Individual people make packs and when you do your individual role in that you get a complete pack," he said. "For the large part, there was a lot of that, particularly in the first half. 

"We have showed our physicality in spurts. Against the Crusaders I think we showed what we could do as a pack. We answered some questions again [in Wellington].

"On the whole, the performance wasn't complete, but we'll patch those areas up because we're going to be facing an All Blacks team that's chomping at the bit next week."

Jones has previous experience of a Lions decider after captaining the side to a convincing 41-16 third Test win over Australia in Sydney in 2013 to seal the series 2-1.

He said that experience taught him that the Lions did not need to change their preparation radically for this weekend's high-stakes game but they must maintain their focus.

"We know what's at stake and the intensity in the game will go up again, as it did four years ago," he said.

"Very little will change from our point of view. I don't see why we can't improve.

Agence France-Presse

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 29 September 2017
Sharks v Golden Lions 17h00 Durban
Worcester Warriors v Saracens 18h35 Sixways
Newcastle Falcons v London Irish 18h35 Kingston Park
Sale Sharks v Gloucester 19h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Leinster v Edinburgh 19h35 RDS Arena
Glasgow Warriors v Treviso 19h35 Scotstoun Stadium
Scarlets v Connacht 19h35 Parc y Scarlets
Sat, 30 September 2017
Griquas v Free State Cheetahs 12h00 Kimberley
Leicester Tigers v Exeter Chiefs 13h00 Welford Road
Munster v Cardiff Blues 13h30 Thomond Park
Cheetahs v Ospreys 14h00 Bloemfontein
Northampton Saints v Harlequins 14h00 Franklin's Gardens
Wasps v Bath 14h00 Ricoh Arena
Zebre v Ulster 14h35 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
South Africa v Australia 15h05 Bloemfontein
Dragons v Kings 18h35 Rodney Parade
Sun, 01 October 2017
Argentina v New Zealand 22h30 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Blue Bulls v Western Province 12h30 Loftus Versfeld
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