Sport

Gatland says All Blacks targeting Lions halfback

Gatland says All Blacks targeting Lions halfback”

British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland's comments about New Zealand's treatment of Lions scrum-half Conor Murray are "desperate", says All Blacks boss Steve Hansen.

Warren Gatland will seek urgent talks with Jerome Garces ahead of next weekend's second Test against the All Blacks after watching what he felt was deliberate attempts to injure scrum-half Conor Murray during Saturday's encounter by diving at his standing foot.

Looking through the squad for the Hurricanes, there are a number of players who believe they could get into the squad for Saturday.

"You feel for the player and it's concerning that they're not actually trying to charge the kick down, they're nowhere near it".

"I think it was more our ability to play off nine and get behind them that really hurt them and took away what they wanted to do".

"That's what you do and I'm sure that's what these players will be focused on this week, and as coaches we'll be focused on it as well".

It is not the first time this season that the issue has been raised regarding Murray.

My gut instinct suggest no, they can not, but how much of that is my own personal bias clouding the issue I can not say.

Rory Best will captain the British and Irish Lions for his side's next game against the Hurricanes in Wellington on Tuesday.

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In the week leading up to that second Test we just concentrated on what we needed to do, rather than worrying too much about our opponents.

George North starts on the left wing, with Saracens second row Kruis featuring in the Lions' midweek team for the first time on tour.

"The Lions kept squandering chances.

We know what to expect for next week", said the New Zealander. Now in a player-coach role at Harlequins, with over 17 years in the game, Jones' knowledge of the sport is unrivalled and he gives his expert insight to ESPN.

"You do whatever it takes for the following week to make sure you change that and turn it around and fix it".

THERE was no dream debut for Lions captain Peter O'Mahony after his side were soundly beaten by back to back world champions New Zealand where poor execution and ill discipline cost his side the chance of starting the series with a win.

Hansen, however, said the visitors had appeared to ignore the breakdown and attacking channels close to the ruck in order to set up their wide defensive screen and he expected they would not make the same decision next Saturday.

"Because as a Kiwi I understand what the mindset is, and often the mindset is to stop the strength of the opposition". "The good thing is that they don't speak English so they're probably not so influenced by the media. So, this team has always worked on the mantra that we want to be better, and we don't always achieve that but that's what we strive to do", Hansen said.

Anton Lienert-Brown then came on at centre for the hamstrung Crotty - leaving no backline bench cover, bar reserve halfback TJ Perenara.

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