Sport

Coaches denied Lions whitewash over All Blacks - O'Brien

Coaches denied Lions whitewash over All Blacks - O'Brien”

The British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland cost the side the series against the All Blacks says Irish flanker Sean O'Brien. Maybe it's more of a coaching point of view in terms of taking lessons.

"The last Test, the start of the week annoyed me a little the way they (coaches) didn't have us on the field, getting info into us early in the week, then give us a bit of downtime. Less is more sometimes on a tour like that". "But it's just about getting that fine balance between players and coaches and making sure the group is ready to rock".

Of course, as you are well aware, the series ended in an unprecedented draw and led to some pretty unusual scenes at the final whistle when both Sam Warburton and Kieran Read shared the trophy during the official presentation.

O'Brien criticised backs coach Rob Howley for not conveying his messages clearly and said fly-halfs Johnny Sexton and Owen Farrell had stepped up to take charge.

"Whereas Johnny and Owen drove everything the second week, for instance, in our attack and had a better plan in place".

But do the stats back him up?

Scrum-half Conor Murray spoke afterwards about the initially maligned Lions gaining respect on the tour and there was clearly a celebratory mood emanating from the tourists' dressing room at the end of the third and final Test, which ended in a 15-15 draw. They also won 94 percent of their own rucks.

Listening to the tape of his chat with Off The Ball, it is clear that he rates the players that went on the tour highly, but were they good enough to beat the world's No. 1 team?

"And I think we did almost the same thing on the last week. less is more sometimes on a tour like that".

As well as assisting Gatland on the Lions tour, Howley works under the New Zealander in the Wales set-up.

O'Brien, who played all three matches, said a triple training session ahead of the first test and a similar schedule before the decider had ruined the Lions' chances of victory. It is only natural that O'Brien can see areas that could have improved on as the Lions fell agonisingly short of a feat few thought possible.



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