British and Irish Lions: This will be the hardest week in a lot of our careers

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The Independent Online

We were always struggling after the first week. I think they would get a better match from the home nations as individual teams because the game has moved on so much in recent times, especially defensively. It took Mike Ford nearly three years to put in place a defensive system with Ireland, the same with Phil Larder and England. And Wales have their own system.

We all defend differently and I think it showed to an extent on Saturday. Some of the tries we conceded should not have been. We've had four of everything coming together, which has been tough to co-ordinate. Four line-out systems, four attacking systems.

These days, national teams spend so much time together, they're almost like club sides. Trying to get that over a six or seven weeks is very difficult. You need to figure out what you're doing with the line-out, for example. Everyone is hedging for their own way of doing it but when the pressure comes on, you go back to what you know is best. That was something we hadn't sorted out by the first Test and it killed us.

Defensively, we were the same. Everybody has their own way and when one person doesn't defend the same way, the whole ship goes down. I thought that second Test team, if it had have had a few more run-outs, would have done all right.

We'd a great start, in contrast to the previous week. Alfie's (Gareth Thomas) try went under, Peely (Dwayne Peel) made a few breaks. If we'd finished his move, we could have pushed ahead and asked a few questions of the All Blacks. We didn't keep up that pressure.

Another thing which hurt us was not securing the ball once or twice at the re-starts, mostly my fault. Conceding the penalty was unfortunate but I didn't get a bollocking about it. The guy I was supposed to hit ducked as I went flying into the ruck so there wasn't much I could do. It murdered us and it was silly. Instead of 10-0, it was 7-3.

I was pleased the line-out worked well, though, as I was in charge of it during the week in training. We had a few sloppy balls, but by and large it was good, and we got after a few of theirs.

In some ways I think I played pretty well, but then, at other times, I cringe. All my mistakes seemed to happen with a big spotlight staring down on me.

This will be the hardest week, mentally, in a lot of these players' careers. This is a dead rubber in a Lions series - and we're on the wrong end. It's very tough to face. We badly need to win and get rid of a bit of the disappointment. The All Blacks won't mind winning the series 2-1 but losing it 3-0 would be devastating.

I don't think we're miles behind, though. If you're taking them on in their own patch, you need to be taking them on and playing as one. We weren't defending as one, people were doing different things. We will be working on that.