Thursday 27 July 2017

'They've got a lot of work to do' - Jamie Heaslip on Lions first Test defeat to New Zealand

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Ireland number eight Jamie Heaslip said that the British & Irish Lions have 'a lot of work to do' if they are to beat the All Blacks in next weekend's second Test.

The Lions were comfortably beaten by the world champion All Blacks in a three tries to two victory in Auckland, with the Lions ill-discipline and handling errors all but ruling out any realistic chance Warren Gatland's side had of ending New Zealand's 23-year unbeaten run at Eden Park.

Heaslip, a two-time Lion in 2009 and 2013, watched the game on his phone en route to the 2017 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series at Inis Mór, with the Ireland backrower confident that the Lions will be itching to right their wrongs in next weekend's second Test in Wellington.

"It's done now," Heaslip told Independent.ie.

"The lads will very quickly move on. It was great to see Tadhg [Furlong] get his first Test for the Lions, and then you saw Jack McGrath, coming from Leinster, get on, so that was great to see.

"It will be interesting to see how the boys gather. They'll already be reviewing the game tonight and waking up tomorrow morning they'll be reviewing it.

"It'll be cut together, and they've a lot of work to do, but they're going to be relishing the challenge coming into the second Test.

"That's the beauty of sport. You can play the same team three times in a row but it can be three completely different games. Everyone will learn, everyone will improve and it'll make for an exciting second game."

Lions boss Gatland admitted that the tourists simply have to harden up in their tight five if they are to stand any chance of reversing this major setback.

"We need to be much more physical next week for the All Blacks; that was disappointing," said Gatland.

"The All Blacks sacked our mauls very well; we need to negate that. And there was one scrum that's caught us as well.

"And there's several areas where we need to be better at the set-piece.

"The All Blacks tight five were very good, but we need to be tough on ourselves and honest in our performance.

"A lot of those things are fixable. We know what to expect for next week."

*Additional reporting by Press Association

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