Paul O'Connell, British and Irish Lions: Consolation and pride is all we've got to play for

Click to follow

I've mentioned before how Lions tours vividly came to life for me when I was a lad watching the Living With Lions video from the 1997 tour. Legends emerged from that tour but so far it's difficult to pick many legends from this version. It's still not too late for that to happen. A win against a supremely talented All Blacks side would be a notable achievement because they're setting the bar in world rugby at this time.

It's some comfort that Clive Woodward has gone with the same pack again this week because, a few glaring errors apart, I thought the pack did very well last week and even though we've been short of numbers in training this week, we've done even more work as a unit.

That's where it all starts for us. When Gareth Thomas gave us that perfect start last week, it was the forwards who should have been able to keep the pressure on and unfortunately that just didn't happen. A lot of that came down to me and the penalty I gave away under the posts. It looks even worse now that I've had the chance to watch it a few times. We could have been 10-0 up or at least remained 7-0 up and kept in their half of the pitch. But they came back for 7-3, then 7-6 and we lost the initiative.

We can't let that happen again. The All Blacks haven't been put under any decent sustained pressure and that's the most annoying thing. They've become used to winning and winning well but only because they're allowed to. If we can put some pressure on them, ask them questions, it will be interesting to see how things pan out.

We've got to think positive. We've got to attack them, get in their faces, give them a decent game. We've four weeks of nothing after this and we've effectively four years of nothing before this Lions tour comes around again. For some, it's their last shot at glory in a Lions jersey. We have to make it count.

Comments