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Lions fly half Jonny Wilkinson
"At the end it was a massive struggle for us"
 real 14k

Lions coach Graham Henry
"They'll be better next week"
 real 14k

banner Saturday, 30 June, 2001, 12:03 GMT 13:03 UK
Lions remain rooted in reality
Ron Henderson and Jonny Wilkinson
Henderson and Wilkinson combine effectively
Realism rather then triumphalism was the dominant theme as the Lions' players reflected on their 29-13 victory over Australia in the first Test.

The reaction of team's New Zealand coach Graham Henry was typical.

"We have a lot to work on. We made a lot of mistakes and I'm sure Australia won't play so much off the ball the next time.

"We played pretty well, but we are going to keep our feet on the ground.


They are bitten and hurt they are going to be a damn sight better next week
  Keith Wood
"It was important to win the first Test but Australia are the best side in the world and will be much better next week. We have to keep that in mind."

Even basking in the glow of victory, Henry was looking at areas of improvement.

He added: "We were penalised a lot in the ruck and the players don't know why."

But he was also able to see the positives.

"There was some excellent play in the back line, taking good ball from the forwards and breaking the line.

"With all the injuries we have suffered, there have been a few hurdles to jump but there is a huge amount of character in the side."

Irish hooker Keith Wood was singing from the same hymn-sheet.

"It was magnificent but they are going to come back next week doubly hard. They are bitten and hurt they are going to be a damn sight better next week, " he said

His international team-mate Rob Henderson also refused to get carried away.

He said: "It's a memorable feeling. It was sea or red out there and it hasn't really sunk in yet.


The job is nowhere near done, but it was a great experience and I won't forget this ever
  Jonny Wilkinson
"But we've been building for this for five weeks. We stopped them playing for 60 minutes. Then we leaked two late tries and we're a bit disappointed about that."

Fly-half Jonny Wilkinson, who landed three conversions also struck a cautious note.

"The job is nowhere near done, but it was a great experience and I won't forget this ever, but the next one will be even bigger.

"We played the game minute by minute. We got off to a great start and never looked back. All of a sudden 10 minutes from the end it was 29-13 and you know then that you've done it."

Team manager Donal Lenihan praised the team's character.

He said: "So many things have been going against us but I felt the resilience was there all the time.

"Everyone was really up for the game, nobody had to say anything this morning. We put them under pressure and we got what we deserved."

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