Lions sense historic win ahead of third Test

Fri, 07 Jul 2017 07:44
Large b i lions coaching team 2017 800

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: The All Blacks and British and Irish Lions wrapped up preparations for Saturday's deciding third Test, with the visitors confident they are on the verge of an historic victory.

"You can see a glint in the players' eyes," said Lions assistant coach Rob Howley, talking up the huge shift in momentum in the fortnight since they lost the first Test. 

"There's been a glint in their eyes since Wellington and that glint hasn't gone away because they know they can create history on the weekend." 

The New Zealanders, who were visited at their training camp by America's Cup-winning helmsman Peter Burling, remain grimly determined.

In the rugby-obsessed nation, they are under intense pressure to atone for the second Test defeat and avoid becoming only the second New Zealand side to lose a series to the Lions.

"You come off a loss and there's a bit of an edge around and guys want to get back out there and have another crack and fortunately we've got that opportunity," captain Kieran Read said. 

"The reality is we know what's coming up. It's a three-match series and this was always going to be the case if we lost one of those first two games." 

Howley said the Lions had some surprises in store for the All Blacks.

"We've got some plays up our sleeve that we've continually worked off the field in terms of the pictures and shapes we've seen defensively from the All Blacks," he said. 

"It's the final game. It's 1-1 in the series. By the very nature of the game, there's not going to be too many chances. We've spoken about it being a World Cup final. There may be one or two chances and we have to take them.

"When you play New Zealand, the point of difference is the front five, it's the skill set, it's the energy and what they bring and at this moment in time we think we're matching them."

The last time the All Blacks faced a game of this magnitude at Eden Park was the 2011 World Cup Final where they scraped home over France 8-7.

Read, along with Israel Dagg, Aaron Cruden, Jerome Kaino, Sam Whitelock and Owen Franks played in that match, and Read said their experience has been crucial in this week's build-up.

"There's not much panic, that's the biggest thing," Read said.

"There's a few guys who are used to it so you have to just impart your knowledge on what these moments mean to teams. 

"As a rugby player, these are the moments that you want to be involved in on the biggest stage."

Agence France-Presse

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 29 July 2017
Crusaders v Chiefs 07h35 Christchurch
Golden Lions v Griquas 10h00 Johannesburg
Lions v Hurricanes 12h30 Ellis Park
Sharks v Pumas 15h00 Durban
Sun, 30 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Western Province 12h30 Bloemfontein
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 July 2017
Pumas v Golden Lions 43 | 36
Sat, 22 July 2017
Griquas v Blue Bulls 45 | 51
Stormers v Chiefs 11 | 17
Lions v Sharks 23 | 21
Crusaders v Highlanders 17 | 0
Fri, 21 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 47 | 12
Brumbies v Hurricanes 16 | 35
Sat, 15 July 2017
Sharks v Lions 10 | 27
Bulls v Stormers 33 | 41
Force v Waratahs 40 | 11
Hurricanes v Crusaders 31 | 22
Chiefs v Brumbies 28 | 10
Sunwolves v Blues 43 | 21
Fri, 14 July 2017
Kings v Cheetahs 20 | 21
Rebels v Jaguares 29 | 32
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