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Last Updated: Friday, 1 July, 2005, 10:00 GMT 11:00 UK
Key battles: New Zealand v Lions
It's make-or-break time for the Lions as they bid to keep the series alive against New Zealand in Saturday's second Test.

The tourists were outplayed in every department in last weekend's curtain raiser as all their long-term plans came apart on a wet night in Christchurch.

It will need a massive improvement from the Lions this weekend as they take on a New Zealand side brimming with confidence after their one-sided 21-3 victory.

BBC Sport analyses the key battles which will decide the outcome of Saturday's match:

TANA UMAGA v GARETH THOMAS - CENTRE

Umaga has been at the centre of the storm that erupted after the now infamous Brian O'Driscoll incident and all eyes will be on the 32-year-old to see how he responds.

A tough and uncompromising skipper, he showed all his pace, strength and skill when he released Sitiveni Sivivatu for New Zealand's second try in the first Test.

Thomas, who led Wales to their Six Nations Grand Slam earlier this year, is installed as the Lions captain and his leadership qualities will be vital.

Normally a full-back or winger, Thomas has not played at outside centre at Test level for over three years but his physicality and footballing skills should give Umaga a stern test.

DAN CARTER v JONNY WILKINSON - FLY-HALF

For the first time in his career, Carter comes face-to-face with the man he has replaced as the world's best outside-half.

The 23-year-old Canterbury star has it all - vision, sublime skills as well as an accurate kicking game - and the fact that he has displaced someone of the calibre of Carlos Spencer shows how highly he is regarded by the All Blacks.

Wilkinson is still the golden boy of English rugby after his World Cup heroics but has still to find top form after a long list of serious injuries.

Although he was given an unfamiliar inside centre role in the first Test, he showed that his defence is still top drawer but now back at fly-half, he will need to find the creative spark that made him such a threat.

RICHIE McCAW v LEWIS MOODY - FLANKER

Quite simply, McCaw is the stand-out player in his position in world rugby at the moment and the Lions struggled to handle his aggression and skills at the breakdown in Christchurch.

A leader of the pack in every sense, McCaw also gives the All Blacks plenty of go-forward with ball in hand and will be looking to do the same demolition job on Moody as he did on Neil Back last week.

Head coach Sir Clive Woodward has turned to Moody at open-side and the Leicester man has the physical presence and athleticism to compete with McCaw.

Moody has made chasing the high ball an art form and when on the front foot his blond locks seem to be everywhere. However, he needs to produce a disciplined performance as he has a tendency to concede silly penalties.

KEVEN MEALAMU v STEVE THOMPSON - HOOKER

Not only was Mealamu involved in the O'Driscoll incident, he was bitten by Danny Grewcock after his fingers "inadvertently" entered the mouth of the Lions lock.

Apart from the controversies, Mealamu was solid at the lineout and made a nuisance of himself at the breakdown and in the loose.

Thompson has been brought in after the Lions lineout spectacularly disintegrated in Christchurch but the Northampton hooker has also been known to have his off days, especially when placed under pressure.

He has only started one game so far on tour, against the New Zealand Maori, and the Lions will also be looking for him to be at his rampaging best with the ball in hand.




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
Woodward calls for strong leaders
01 Jul 05 |  Lions in NZ
Henry attacks Campbell media role
01 Jul 05 |  Lions in NZ
New Zealand 21-3 Lions
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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