Warren Gatland: “They (South Africa) are suffering from this because they are an incredibly proud nation and a world champion. Next week will be even bigger and tougher … In our view, you will win it first and foremost. whatever happens you go to the end of the weekend ”
Last updated: 24/07/21 21:53 pm
Warren Gatland boosted the British and Irish Lions for a fierce response from South Africa, after the Tourists took a 1-0 lead in the series with a 22-17 win at Cape Town Stadium.
The Lions went 12-3 in the long run, but improved significantly, with Luke Cowan-Dicky starting the rebound with a first-line finish, while Dan Biggar and Owen Farrell completed the rest.
The South African coronavirus outbreak suffered in the second half, but they only blamed themselves for the indiscipline that allowed the lions to survive.
Gutland knows Springbox will be fired for a second test, but insists the Lions can find another lever.
“They’re suffering from this because they’re an incredibly proud nation and a world champion. Next week will be even bigger and tougher, I expected,” Gatland said.
“From our point of view, you win it first and you know that no matter what happens, you go to the end of the series at the end of the series. It gets everyone to work and really gets interested in it.”
“For us, we feel like we have a lot of terrible things going on. From a conventional point of view, it seems like we’re getting stronger and able to keep the tension and speed going for 80 minutes.
“It’s a really appealing aspect of how hard we’ve worked over the last six weeks.”
The Lions finished the game with full control, but Gatland admitted it was a nervous evening, especially when the South African TMO considered Willie Le Roux’s attempt to shut him down for offside.
“The message of the break was that we’re still struggling. Let’s be patient and get a chance. Don’t force things,” Gatland said.
“In that second half, we got stronger and stronger and got ourselves back into the game, but it was a really hard and tight test game that could have reached either side.
“We came back and did really well. I thought the last minute we were great.
“You look at it for both teams and you know it was a throw of the ball, it could have gone any way. There were a few big calls as well.
“If they had been different, maybe it would have affected the outcome. We were happy with the defense, we didn’t think they created a lot of attacking opportunities.”
At the center of the Lions ’victory were the outstanding performances of England’s attackers Maro Itoe and Courtney Laws.
“They were both outstanding. Courtney Laws performed exceptionally well, she was strong. I thought I was incredibly great too. They both had outstanding performances and that was really the key for us,” Gatland said.
https://www.skysports.com/rugby-union/news/12040/12363260/warren-gatland-british-and-irish-lions-will-have-to-be-braced-for-springboks-backlash | Warren Gatland: British and Irish Lions will have to be braced for Springboks backlash | Rugby Union News