Coach upbeat after Lions victory

British and Irish Lions coach Ian McGeechan said the 74-10 thrashing of the Gauteng Lions at Ellis Park on Wednesday had been more than he expected.

“It exceeded expectations and was very satisfying. I was pleased with the accuracy we showed, the good tactical decisions that were made out on the field. When we did create space we used it well,” McGeechan told a news conference after the 10-try rout of the Super 14 side.

“We saw good players playing off each other, doing the right things at the right time,” McGeechan said.

The British and Irish Lions led 39-10 at halftime and added another five tries in the second half.

“One of the biggest pluses was not conceding any points in the second half.
We could have taken our foot off the gas and let a couple of tries go through, but we were adamant at halftime that we wanted to keep them scoreless and it was very pleasing that we did that,” captain Brian O’Driscoll said.

Ireland’s O’Driscoll was playing alongside Welsh centre Jamie Roberts for the first time, and the pair set the tone early in the first half as they tore through the midfield defence of the home side.

“Both Jamie and Brian used space well and the timing of their runs was excellent. They were both very positive out there,” McGeechan said.

Both O’Driscoll and Roberts were substituted before the hour mark, but McGeechan said he would not be handing them a break before the Test series starts on June 20.

“They need to keep playing, although it’s important not to over-play them. But we will keep adding to the mix of what we are trying to do and it’s important that they are part of that,” the coach said.

O’Driscoll’s Ireland centre partner Gordon D’Arcy is being flown over to join the tour and will arrive in South Africa on Thursday, and McGeechan said he would be considered for Saturday’s game against the Free State Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.—Reuters

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