Thursday, June 11, 2009
The British & Irish Lions put on a strong second half performance to beat the Sharks 39-3 in Durban on Wednesday. The Sharks defended manfully for the first forty, but the experience and class of the Lions was too much for them in the second.
Coach Ian McGeechan had chosen a side that looked close to what the possible Test team will be, but despite huge pressure, they were unable to break the Sharks defence early on.
The home side had a strong forward pack, but were missing ten Springbok players in total, lacking firepower in the backs when they did get some rare possession.
In fact, the Lions had almost 80 percent of the ball in the first half, and only managed one try. That rustiness will need to be sorted out before the first Test.
The Lions center pairing of Brian ODriscoll and Jamie Roberts continues to impress though, with Roberts making inroads seemingly every time he gets ball in hand.
There was some concern after he possibly injured his shoulder, but McGeechan has said its simply bruised after a big knock and hell be fine.
In the end, the Lions scored five tries against a traditionally strong South African side. Theyve now won four out of four, which would have been their goal so far.
"I am very pleased," said McGeechan. "We showed very strong discipline and patience - it was a very strong performance."
"We didn't panic. We just kept building a performance and reaped the benefits in the second half, he added.
Are there still worrying signs at this stage of the tour, or are you confident that with the correct combinations in place, the Lions are strong enough to take on the World Champions?