Retallick predicts 'bit of edge' in Lions decider

Mon, 03 Jul 2017 07:30

NEWS: The wounded All Blacks will bring an "edge" to the deciding third Test in Auckland after their rare loss to the British and Irish Lions, lock Brodie Retallick said Monday.

The Lions downed the 14-man All Blacks 24-21 in Wellington after Sonny Bill Williams was red-carded, setting up a winner-takes-all showdown at Eden Park on Saturday.

Retallick, a World Cup winner in 2015, said the chance to win a Lions series was a once-in-a-lifetime event.

"Right now, we're probably feeling a little bit more pressure within the group. It's do or die at 1-1," he told reporters.

He said the All Blacks were eager to take to the field and make amends for the loss.

"It'd be good just to go to Saturday right now and not have to worry about the rest of the week, but we'll build well," Retallick said.

"I've got no doubt there's going to be a bit of edge among the group.

"I thought they were a lot more physical and confrontational than they were before, we need to sort that out and make sure we're back at it."

Scrumhalf Aaron Smith said Test discard Malakai Fekitoa would have a point to prove after being recalled to the squad to replace the suspended Williams.

"He'll go hard, he'll do his job really well if he gets the opportunity," Smith said of his Highlanders teammate.

"He'll also probably have a bit of the chip on his shoulder, maybe a bit of no-fear attitude coming in. He knows what he has to do."

Fekitoa is expected to compete with Ngani Laumape for a spot alongside Anton Lienert-Brown in the centres.

Agence France-Presse

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