Friday 19 January 2018

'Our discipline probably wasn't where it should have been at' - Captain Peter O'Mahony on Lions defeat

Lions' Peter O'Mahony runs onto the pitch with the mascot
Lions' Peter O'Mahony runs onto the pitch with the mascot

The British and Irish Lions were left to rue poor finishing after world champions New Zealand won a thrilling first Test 30-15 in Auckland.

Ireland flanker Sean O'Brien finished off a scintillating long-range move just before the break to leave the match evenly poised but the Lions otherwise lacked the killer touch.

Promising breaks came to nothing and at the other end lapses in concentration were ruthlessly punished by the All Blacks as Codie Taylor scored a first-half try before Rieko Ioane added two second-half touchdowns.

"We had an excellent first half and created plenty of chances," Lions captain Peter O'Mahony told Sky Sports 1.

"We're happy with some of the opportunities we created but our discipline probably wasn't where it should have been at.

"We've got a huge Test coming up next week and we've got to recover now and regroup.

We've been put under pressure by a seriously good side at times but we've got to be more clinical. We're making some good breaks and we've just got to finish them off.

"We left at least two tries out there so I don't think 15 points is a good reflection."

Centre Jonathan Davies agreed with his team-mate, saying: "Poor discipline and errors probably cost us and to be fair to the All Blacks they were very clinical as always.

"But we can take a lot out of our game. We created a lot, it's just finishing off these opportunities. We can't leave tries out there.

"The positives are we're creating chances, we just need to finish them off."

Lions boss Warren Gatland suggested his side were caught off guard by New Zealand's tactics.

"They didn't come out and play champagne rugby," he said.

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"They were very direct coming really hard off nine and credit to them. They dominated us in that area. We were looking to get the upper hand up front and in fairness to them they got it today.

"We've got no excuses about the result because they deserved to win.

"But there are things we can work on particularly hard this week and definitely improve on taking the chances and being more accurate at the breakdown."

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen paid credit to the Lions for their role in an absorbing contest.

"I thought we won the battle up front in the tight five which was colossal from both sides," he said.

The Lions played really, really well. The first try they scored should go down as one of the best tries scored in Test rugby. They'll be proud of that and will look to do more of it."

All Blacks captain Kieran Read added: "It was a hell of a Test match. We certainly got tested in that first half especially and just after half-time when our defence probably won us the game.

"It was two skillful teams working really hard for each other. It was a tough Test match and we had to work hard for that."

Press Association

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