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Matt Dawson
"We felt we let ourselves down as well as the Lions' fans who came to watch"
 real 14k

banner Wednesday, 20 June, 2001, 15:44 GMT 16:44 UK
Tour starts here
Matt Dawson
BBC Sport Online columnist Matt Dawson says the Lions tour of Australia has reached a crucial stage following defeat by Australia A.

Everyone was obviously disappointed following the game on Tuesday.

Not just because we lost the game but because of the way we played. The opposition went up a couple of notches and we didn't.

It wasn't until the last half-an-hour that we started to play some good rugby.

It's now a different tour - the Lions will now have to regroup and hopefully bounce back
  Matt Dawson
If we'd played that same style for the whole game the result might have been slightly different.

We felt we let ourselves down as well as the Lions' fans who came to watch.

It's now a different tour. The Lions will now have to regroup and hopefully bounce back.

There is now pressure on the team that has been named to play the NSW Waratahs on Saturday.

On a personal level, I was pleased with the way I played against Australia A.

Things were different once I came in at number nine and Austin Healey moved to 10.

We seemed to inject a bit more pace and direction into the game and the Lions managed to score three tries during that period.

But I don't think I have done enough to make the Test team yet.

I don't think anyone has done enough and there are still two games to go before the first Test.

But I am not worried about what other people do, I just concentrate on what Matt Dawson does.

If that warrants a place in the team then that's fantastic.

We trained hard on Wednesday on the team stuff. On Thursday we've got a day off - my first of the tour.

To be honest, I think some of the players could do with a rest. Some of them looked a little jaded early on against Australia A and training has been very intense so far.

Finally, I'd like to say a few words about my England team-mate Mike Catt, who's been forced out of the tour.

He's a class player and was really going to be pushing for a test place.

He'd got himself fit for Tuesday's game but unfortunately got a tweak and that's the end of his tour.

He's had a fantastic year, been named player of the year and everything was set up for him to have a great tour.

But on the bright side, Lawrence Dallaglio has come through his first game and Dan Luger should be all right after banging heads with Neil Back in training.

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See also:

19 Jun 01 |  Lions Down Under
Lions humbled by Australia A
20 Jun 01 |  Lions Down Under
Lions hit by Luger worry
20 Jun 01 |  Lions Down Under
Remember Pretoria
20 Jun 01 |  Lions Down Under
Macqueen blasts Lions
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