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Last Updated: Saturday, 2 July, 2005, 09:33 GMT 10:33 UK
Woodward proud of defeated Lions
British and Irish Lions coach Sir Clive Woodward
Sir Clive Woodward stood by his players after defeat in the second Test, which handed a series victory to New Zealand.

"I was bitterly disappointed last weekend but the guys fronted up today and I am hugely proud of every one of them," said the Lions coach.

"We were on the wrong end of the scoreline against an outstanding team.

"They scored some great tries at the end and we struggled to defend but I felt that we deserved a little more than we got."

He added: "The guys who came in took over from some big names but they were awesome and did really well and Simon Easterby had a huge game.

"We lost some key players but started really well and looked sharp, but things drifted away after 10 minutes.

"Jonny hitting the post was a key moment but the effort was fantastic."

Woodward said he was not going to respond to media criticism.

"I don't intend to defend myself," he said. "We are what we are. I was put in charge and made the decisions and I just want to pat everyone on the back.

"We copped flak all week but I wouldn't change anything we have done. We have just got to accept it and be positive.

"We have got a big game in Auckland next Saturday and I intend to enjoy my last week in New Zealand."

Captain Gareth Thomas said his side were determined to make up for their series defeat by winning next Saturday's third Test.

"We have got pride to play for," he said. "We play rugby because we are proud people and there is no way we are leaving this country without a fight.

"The guys believed we were in with a shout and did all I could have asked.

"We were not good enough on the day but the boys gave everything for each other and that's what matters."

Lions star Lewis Moody was disappointed with the way his side capitulated after their promising start against New Zealand.

"We wanted to go out and play rugby, and we will want to do it next weekend," he said.

"These guys are not invincible, as we proved in the first-half, it's just a matter of maintaining focus for the full 80 minutes.

"This team is beatable, which makes it more frustrating that we let it slip."

Interview: Lions coach Sir Clive Woodward

Interview: Lions captain Gareth Thomas

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