All Blacks coach Hansen called local Radio Sport directly to answer British and Irish Lions chief Gatland’s call for greater protection of his No 9.
“From the first few minutes particularly”.
Of the six players controversially called up from the Wales and Scotland squads, only Finn Russell played any part, the fly-half enjoying a brief cameo while Dan Biggar was withdrawn for a head injury assessment.
The move to fullback had not been too much of an adjustment, he said, and the shift in attacking focus from flyhalf to scrumhalf was something he was happy to see reprised if that was the best way to counter the Lions.
“We need to make sure we are on the right side of the law when we do things, and I thought I was there”.
Edwards says: “I asked to sleep in the vehicle park, but she said ‘there’s no point you staying here on your own you may as well sleep on the floor at ours’”.
“If we didn’t have those players there tonight we’d have had players on the bench who would have been exposed”.
A general view of today’s front page of the New Zealand Herald which depicts British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland as a cartoon clown.
Barrett echoed what already looks like being the All Blacks mantra of the week – “it’s a good start but it’s only a start” – and is particularly excited to be heading home to Wellington for Saturday’s second test.
“The only thing I heard was that he had rung up a radio station”.
“But I’m not anxious about that, or what any newspaper draws me up as”.
“I was talking to the girls and I said, ‘nah I’ve got to take him home, I can’t leave him here – what if something happens?’”.
The Lions’ battle the Hurricanes in their final midweek game on Tuesday night.
I hope this doesn’t come across as being disingenuous and non-patriotic, but when I saw Conor Murray launch yet another up and under with the Lions very first bit of possession, my allegiance switched from red to black. But that’s water off a duck’s back. But will it get me selected? “I couldn’t give a toss if that’s happening”.
A 30-15 defeat may indicate that the Lions got it wrong, and certainly there were key things that went against them that didn’t help their cause – but equally there were positives, things to encourage that this Saturday’s second test may not be the coronation of the New Zealanders and instead be the cliffhanger ending going into the third and decisive test (played, nearly for dramatic effect, again at Eden Park) a week Saturday.
It’s not only Gatland that he respects as foe in this “fantastic” series.
“It was a big moment in the game, the yellow card. You’ll see a reaction this week, both in training and on Saturday, more so on Saturday”.
“It was a massive swing in the game”.
Northampton Saints’ Courtney Lawes and Iain Henderson are together in the second row while Wasps’ James Haskell and Justin Tipuric are alongside CJ Stander in the back row. “That’s probably something we did quite well last week and we’ve got to do it again this week”.
Rieko Ioane scores his second try for the All Blacks against the Lions. That is something we will have a look at in a lot of detail this week.
“Primarily those two guys [Henderson and Lawes] had really strong games tonight to give us some real food for thought”.
“George North was a bit unlucky on that kick-through”.