B&I Lions out to drain South Africa's energy
SPOTLIGHT: British and Irish Lions attack coach Gregor Townsend has hinted that his team will be looking to run the Springboks ragged in the third Test in Cape Town on Saturday.
The tourists have only scored one try in the Test series so far and that was from a maul in the first Test, which they won 22-17.
They hardly created chances in the second Test, which they lost 9-27, and Townsend believes their attacking game is something that needs to improve.
The Tour’s leading try-scorer Josh Adams has been brought in on the right wing, while Liam Williams got the fullback role for the decider. Bundee Aki gets the No.12 jersey this week with Robbie Henshaw switching to outside centre.
Ali Price will wear the No.9, which suggests the Lions will try to speed up the game on Saturday.
“We got to create more that’s for sure,” said Townsend.
“If you create opportunities, whether that comes through errors in the defence that can get you linebreaks that leads to tries, that gives you more chances of winning the game.
“You may create more just through pressure by fatiguing the opposition and getting penalties and in these tight Test matches, that could be enough to win the game.
“We did that well in the second half of the first Test and we were building into that sort of performance in the first half of the second Test, but we didn’t do it for 80 minutes.
“We know that we have to control the game more by moving South Africa around and draining them of energy whenever we can. That would be an area for us to improve on.”
Earlier this week, B&I Lions head coach Warren Gatland said he would be speaking to the referees about ensuring a faster tempo to this weekend’s series-deciding third Test.
The second Test lasted 126 minutes and Townsend believes some of the stoppages were ‘unnecessary’.
“We have made the point that we don’t want unnecessary stoppages. You keep the tempo and the flow of the game up through your own accuracy, through your own decision-making, but when the game stops for a scrum or a line-out you want it to restart as quickly as possible.
“I think everyone who is watching at home wants that,” he added.
One player that can increase the tempo of the game is flyhalf Finn Russell, who has been included on the bench.
Russell missed the first two Tests due to an Achilles injury.
“It is a credit to him and our medics that he is available and he has got himself on the bench,” said Townsend.
“We know he can ask different questions than any flyhalf in the world.
“He has trained really well this week, so he is feeling much better with his Achilles and he is just connecting with others in the team.
“If he does get on then I am looking forward to seeing him play, but obviously we are looking at our XV to begin with, doing all we can to win this game.”