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Last Updated: Saturday, 25 June, 2005, 21:19 GMT 22:19 UK
Zinzan Brooke column
Zinzan Brooke
By Zinzan Brooke
Former All Black

The All Blacks ran rings around the Lions and the result in Christchurch wasn't even close.

Clive Woodward is surrounded by journalists looking for answers
Woodward is surrounded by journalists looking for answers

There were so many flaws in the Lions' team, but the buck stops with Clive Woodward, some of his team selections and the way he made them.

I thought the idea of the touring side was for a squad of players all trying to push for a Test spot.

But to name the Test side before last Tuesday's provincial game drove a stake through all that.

Woodward was basically telling those players involved against Southland that they had no chance of getting into the Test team.

Would I have the loyalty to play for Sir Clive Woodward after that? I don't think so.

It is na´ve to think young, ambitious players won't be offended.

To drop Gavin Henson and put in Jonny Wilkinson, who has been out of the loop for two years and only played his first comeback match about three weeks ago, is basically saying "OK, Wales may have won the Grand Slam but you're not good enough."

From shirts 1-15, the All Blacks got over the gain line at will and that was hard to stomach
Former Lion Keith Wood

Do you have to wear a white jersey to play for this team or what?

If Henson doesn't get in the Test team next week he may as well get on the first plane home.

It puts a big question mark against the whole squad ethos and Woodward is going to have to earn that knighthood now.

The Lions made some fundamental errors that they will have to correct if they are have any chance of getting back in the series.

I did not understand the purpose of the Jonny Wilkinson/Stephen Jones partnership and it did not work.

Neil Back fought hard in the loose but did not do anything Martyn Williams would not have done.

It was a miserable night for fans in Christchurch
It was a miserable night for fans in Christchurch

I thought the Lions were going to dominate at the scrum and the line-out but it never happened.

The forwards have got to be a lot more physical and they have got to sort out the line-out.

It was a line-out mistake that gave New Zealand the first try.

Shane Byrne popped the ball in too early, Martin Corry and Paul O'Connell got confused, and Ali Williams grabbed it and showed a clean pair of heels for the touchdown.

It all stemmed from a risky cross-field kick by Jones when the Lions were in a rare attacking position.

It was a bad mistake because the All Blacks have so much ammunition in the counter-attack.

The loss of Brian O'Driscoll was a big factor. But if that is all it takes to beat the Lions then they don't have a chance on this tour.

You can expect the New Zealand provincial side Manawatu to really push them in midweek
Zinzan Brooke

I honestly don't think there is much the Lions can do to turn things round from here, but they need to try.

They must sort out the set pieces, sort out their starter moves, hang onto the ball better, and get more physical because New Zealand were winning all the 50-50s.

Woodward will have no option but to pick the Welsh guys and make some drastic changes in the team.

And you can expect the New Zealand provincial side Manawatu to really push them in midweek.

If the Lions lose, the wheels will really have come off.




SEE ALSO
New Zealand 21-3 Lions
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Lions trio ruled out of NZ tour
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Henry lauds 'superb' All Blacks
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Corry, Woodward rue poor display
25 Jun 05 |  Lions in NZ
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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