UK press say Lions must have ‘blasted it’
LONDON - Agence France-Presse
British and Irish Lions winger George North (R) carries Australian Wallabies winger Israel Folau. AFP photoThe British and Irish Lions paid the price for excessive caution and a lack of forward power in a 16-15 second Test defeat by a “canny” Australia side, according to U.K. press reports June 30.
Australia’s victory in Melbourne on June 29 saw them level the three-match contest at 1-1 and left the Lions’ hopes of a much-longed for first series victory since 1997 dependent on the result of next week’s final Test in Sydney.
“Frankly, they (the Lions) sat back when they should have gone out and blasted it,” wrote Stephen Jones, the long-serving rugby correspondent of the Sunday Times.
As for the pack selected by Lions coach Warren Gatland, Jones added: “I was amazed how light and fluffy and vulnerable it was, even up against an Australian pack that, frankly, would not even frighten your grandmother at midnight in a dark alley”.
Jones highlighted how prop Mako Vunipola, for all his good play in the loose, had endured a torrid match in the scrum, Jones wrote. “Sadly, the metaphorical cemeteries of rugby are full of props who were rated for other things bar scrummaging, and who were badly exposed for their lack of scrummaging power,” he wrote.
Jones’s Sunday Times colleague Stuart Barnes, the former England and Lions fly-half, added the Lions had “stopped playing in the last 20 minutes.”