Lions need defensive leaders, says coach Andy Farrell ahead of Highlanders Test

Memories of the 1993 Lions' heavy midweek defeats by Hawke's Bay and Waikato still linger and Gavin Hastings' team also lost 37-24 against Otago in the build-up to the first Test. Martin Bayfield, Will Carling and Scott Hastings were all injured and the Test series ended in frustrating defeat.

It just goes to show that the more time the Lions are given, the more they can prove that England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales can work together successfully.

"The Lions have to find a key to the "rugby chaos" promised by Rob Howley, a key to scoring the necessary tries to give their rearguard a realistic total to defend", says Barnes.

"I suppose we didn't get the rub of the green but we had to adapt to what was happening with the ref and what their tactics were.", he said. "It is a once or twice in a lifetime opportunity for some guys and it's important to enjoy it rather than putting pressure on yourself so that's the approach I've gone with".

The Crusaders appeared to be annoyed with referee Mathieu Raynal's handling of the scrum engagement laws, but Gatland rejected those concerns and insisted the Lions have prepared to cope with every style of officiating. It's a step in the right direction.

"When I play well and I am match-fit, I am aggressive in the tackle, I'll contribute handful of good carries, and you become a lineout option".

At the risk of sounding parochial the best aerial operator is Tommy Seymour and if Saturday was a blueprint for the Test team, which is what most pundits are predicting, then the Scot should be drafted in because North is more likely to lose a match down there as he is to win one. Every Lions Tour I was on, in games three, four and five the curve of improvement just climbs, because you're with the best players.

"But they had a number of really good internationals, it was a massive challenge".

Cosby team triumphant, but sex crime retrial, lawsuits loom
The discovery in those cases is underway, but his deposition testimony will remain on hold until the retrial in the criminal case. The jurors clearly struggled with their verdict, telling Judge Steven O'Neill on Thursday they were at impasse.

This week's episode of The Hard Yards sees Stephen Ferris, Kev McLaughlin, Kiwi rugby writer Hamish Bidwell, Ladbrokes' Andy Wildig and host Andy McGeady discussing the underwhelming start to the Lions Tour and New Zealand's relationship with prodigal son Warren Gatland.

Warren Gatland opted to bring 41 players to New Zealand, so even if Hogg was to travel home they would still have greater numbers than on many previous tours.

The Europeans play a different game than we do down here. But we won't fool ourselves. "We know things we're going to correct". There are things we did, a few slip-ups or turnovers that the All Blacks would finish off. "There are times when you need to be pragmatic and take the points in a tight game any way you can", he wrote. It is up to us now to keep it going.

Peter O'Mahony produced a bullish performance to boost his chances of Test selection, with Munster team-mate Murray hailed the flanker's resolve.

"Pete's a happy man at the moment, a close friend of mine", said Murray.

"I haven't had the phone call yet but I'm sure we'll talk", Luke Whitelock said ahead of the fourth match of the tour tonight.

"Confident with each other, confident in other people's company, playing with people, training with them a bit more".

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