British and Irish Lions: What the pundits said after the 17-13 loss to South Africa ‘A’

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Sky Sports activities pundits Maggie Alphonsi, Sam Warburton, Ronan O’Gara and Sir Ian McGeechan run the rule over the British and Irish Lions’ 17-13 defeat to South Africa ‘A’ on Wednesday

Final Up to date: 15/07/21 10:00am

Maro Itoje was one participant who stood out for the Lions within the defeat to South Africa ‘A’

The British and Irish Lions suffered their first defeat of this 12 months’s tour on Wednesday night as they went down 17-13 to a powerful South Africa ‘A’ facet.

The conflict in Cape City was dubbed as an unofficial fourth Take a look at match by some observers because of the energy of the Springboks’ A staff which featured quite a few World Cup winners and a mixed complete of over 520 Take a look at caps.

Afterwards, Sky Sports activities pundits Maggie Alphonsi, Sam Warburton, Ronan O’Gara and Sir Ian McGeechan got here up with their key takeaways from the match with the beginning of the Take a look at sequence towards South Africa below 10 days away…

How Lions gamers rated in South Africa ‘A’ loss

The Lions got here up simply brief in Cape City towards South Africa ‘A’, however who stood out to stake their declare for a Take a look at spot?

Alphonsi: Itoje deserves Take a look at begin

Maro Itoje was one of many stand-out performers for the Lions towards South Africa ‘A’ and World Rugby Corridor of Fame member Alphonsi believes the England second row has proven Lions head coach Warren Gatland greater than sufficient to earn a begin for the Take a look at sequence.

“He was sensible, and he performed like a again row – he was in all places,” Alphonsi stated. “If you consider his stats, he received six of their very own line-outs and made a steal, and within the line-out he was completely aggressive and put strain on (Eben) Etzebeth.

“He was in all places with reference to assault, attempting to search for these offloads, and we have seen this lots for England within the Six Nations the place he appeared for the charge-down.

“However, for me, what he does so nicely is main the defence. When he takes a step up, everybody follows round him and I feel he is actually stepped up and proven he deserves that No 4 jersey for the Take a look at squad.”

Lions endure first defeat of tour towards South Africa ‘A’

The Lions suffered their first defeat of this 12 months’s tour on Wednesday as they misplaced 17-13 to a powerful South Africa ‘A’.

Warburton: Work to do on the breakdown

The Lions have been out of kinds within the first half, conceding two tries and trailing 17-3 on the break, however whereas Warburton believes areas such because the aerial battle and kicking sport are simply fastened, the previous Lions captain feels the vacationers should do extra work on successful the battle on the breakdown.

“The breakdown is difficult as a result of if you’re within the Lions staff you are making ready two groups per week and also you give attention to construction within the week – line-outs, defensive techniques, assault performs and scrums,” Warburton stated.

“The precise talent of attending to the breakdown first is form of neglected since you’re trying a lot at construction and I feel it is one thing they should go to in coaching.

“It is a talent like passing which each and every participant must do and it is solely highlighted if you see a primary half like that the place South Africa have been all around the ball.

Highlights as British and Irish Lions fell to their first defeat of the tour against a strong South Africa 'A' side in Cape Town

Sky Sports 4:59
Highlights as British and Irish Lions fell to their first defeat of the tour towards a powerful South Africa ‘A’ facet in Cape City

Highlights as British and Irish Lions fell to their first defeat of the tour towards a powerful South Africa ‘A’ facet in Cape City

“I’ve observed it creeping in the previous couple of video games, the Lions are gradual and that first man is gradual, so when South Africa win that jackal turnover it isn’t essentially good turnover, it is as a result of the Lions are too gradual and too excessive, in order that’s mindset you may change in coaching.”

O’Gara: Springboks not suited to chasing the sport

Three-time Lions vacationer O’Gara noticed indicators of what Gatland’s facet can count on from the Springboks within the upcoming Take a look at matches and pointed to the significance of not permitting the hosts to achieve any form of lead.

“In the event that they’re good in assault and hold the ball, then get tempo of their sport, they’ll trigger main issues for South Africa,” O’Gara stated. “I feel this sport could possibly be a turning level within the tour.

“South Africa are a really totally different staff if it’s important to chase towards them reasonably than lead towards them. Their game-plan is not suited to being behind, but when they lead and hold controlling the scrum and with their aggressive defence and kicking plan, that very a lot fits them.

Gatland: Lions ‘fairly constructive’ after South Africa ‘A’ loss

Warren Gatland believes the British and Irish Lions will get extra out of Wednesday’s 17-13 loss to a powerful South Africa ‘A’ in Cape City than their opponents.

“If the Lions have been to guide, I feel it causes all types of issues and if they are often courageous with the ball, I feel the Lions will get lots out of the subsequent three Exams.”

McGeechan: Second half was encouraging

The 2 tries the Lions conceded towards South Africa ‘A’ got here on the again of their very own errors and McGeechan, who coached the staff on two excursions of South Africa, pointed to how nicely they competed as soon as these have been eradicated from their sport.

“Once you take a look at it, if the Lions felt South Africa’s strain within the first 40 minutes, they know all they have to not do is give factors away,” McGeechan stated.

“In the long run, all the factors got here from what the Lions have been doing reasonably than what South Africa have been doing and that may be a large plus from the Lions.

“You’ve got a kicking sport which is well-structured, you retain a set piece which is structured, and you do not drive issues, after which step by step it opens up.

“Then you definately get tempo within the sport as a result of your breakdowns are getting a lot faster one after the opposite, which is what they did within the second half very nicely.”



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