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Last Updated: Saturday, 25 June, 2005, 10:48 GMT 11:48 UK
Henry lauds 'superb' All Blacks
Ali Williams steals a Lions line-out throw in the first Test
All Blacks coach Graham Henry said the effort of his forwards was key to the 21-3 win over the Lions in the first Test in Christchurch.

"Our set piece was superb, our tight five superb and we were able to place them under pressure," he said.

"The tight five deserve a huge amount of credit and that was the basis for the win. They were dominant around the field and made a lot of tackles.

"The loose forwards could function and that gave the backs a platform."

Henry said the performance at the line-out had been the key factor in the victory on a wet and windy night at the Jade Stadium.

"That was the best line-out in two years," he said.

The All Blacks stole a remarkable 10 of the Lions' throws - with hooker Shane Byrne substituted - while conceding just one of their own.

All Blacks assistant coach Steve Hansen said the team had deliberately targeted the set piece as an opportunity to nullify the Lions' attacking options.

"We set out to give them poor-quality possession and clearly we achieved that," said Hansen.

We were very poor, this is a huge blow but we've got to take it on the chin
Lions forward Martin Corry

"We felt their tight five was something they thought was a strength and like any strength you have to attack it, and that's when they question themselves.

"That's what we did - attacked their perceived strength."

Henry said the damage inflicted on the Lions could have been even heavier were it not for the atrocious conditions of sheet rain, hail and freezing temperatures.

"We could have scored a number of times but we didn't. To catch and pass in those conditions was not easy," he said.

"There was also some good skill there. Tana Umaga's pass to Sitiveni Sivivatu for that final try was quite outstanding."

All Blacks forward Richie McCaw, who made 14 tackles in the game, said his side had to work hard for the win.

"The biggest thing was we made them pay when the opportunities arose and our defence was good, especially at set-piece line-out time," he said.

"It was cold out there in the second half but we stuck to our guns and especially up front I think the guys did well."




WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: Sir Clive Woodward


Interview: Lions' Martin Corry


Interview: New Zealand flanker Richie McCaw


Interview: Former Lions hooker Keith Wood



LIONS TOUR 2005

ALL BLACKS WHITEWASH LIONS




VOTE RESULTS
What was the main reason for the Lions' whitewash in NZ?
All Blacks just too good
58%
Woodward's selections
30%
Injuries to key players
6%
Squad was too big
6%
97190 Votes Cast
Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

Vote now closed



SEE ALSO
Pick your Lions XV
24 May 05 |  Lions in NZ
Lions tour venue guides
18 May 05 |  Lions in NZ
Early history of the Lions
18 May 05 |  Lions in NZ
Fixture list for Lions tour to NZ
08 Apr 05 |  Lions in NZ
Lions player profiles
25 May 05 |  Lions in NZ
All Blacks player profiles
25 May 05 |  Lions in NZ


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