June International Tours

O’Driscoll confident Lions can still take series



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Former British and Irish Lions captain from 2005 Brian O’Driscoll says that the Lions will start the match with confidence not only because of the way the Lions played last week at time but also because of the quality of players in the Lions team.

“I think you’re always confident when you’re playing with a Lions team first and foremost but secondly some of the rugby played at the weekend showed some confidence and that we can play the game we want to.

“We have to bring that out from the kick off this weekend because we can’t afford to give them a 19 point lead and chase it back.”

The Lions spent most of the week in Cape Town while the Springboks flew straight to Pretoria and prepared at altitude. Many visiting teams to South Africa approach the altitude factor differently and each one think that they are combating the altitude in the best way they can.

“Hopefully it won’t have a negative impact – obviously there’s a difference playing a sea level and playing at altitude but we’ve played at altitude for the first three games of the tour and we know what it takes.”said O’Driscoll.

“We just look forward to pushing our bodies, particularly in the second half when you start feeling the effects of it.”

The weather in Cape Town has been miserable all week while in Pretoria the weather has been dryer but as it is the start of winter in South Africa there has been some cold in the air.

“I don’t think it’s going to have any kind of effect.” said O’Driscoll of the change in climates between Cape Town and Pretoria.

“We’re not really learning anything hugely new this week it’s just a case of trying to iron out any creases and I’m sure our team run tomorrow afternoon will be fine and all we need is a day to get ready for the conditions and we will be ready to go.”

In the first test the Lions were expected to start strongly as the Springboks had not played together for a while. What actually happened was that the Springboks started strongly and the Lions finished strongly.

The Springboks feel that by calling on their bench so early in the match they allowed the Lions to come back at them. The Lions on the other hand feel that they had been together for an hour and were just getting used to each other.

Whatever happens in the second Test the Lions and O’Driscoll know that another slow start will bury them and their hopes of leveling the series.

“We probably didn’t play early enough last weekend and that was to our detriment.”said the Irishman.

“Hopefully we can play earlier in the first half on Saturday, cut off the Springboks and make them work for their scores a little bit more than we did last weekend.”

“Obviously we were hopeful to win that game but it’s done now and we are out to win Test two and three and it is as simple as that.” he finished.

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