Jamie Heaslip: The Lions were rewarded for attacking space

The tourists scored two tries out wide after New Zealand were reduced to 14 men

BY Simon Maguire 17:37 Saturday 1 July 2017, 17:37 1 Jul 2017

Lions' CJ Stander and Sean O'Brien celebrate winning. Image: ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

The Lions pulled off a huge upset in Wellington on Saturday beating New Zealand to take the series to a decider next weekend.

Former Lions' number 8 Jamie Heaslip joined Ger Gilroy and Nathan Murphy on Saturday's Off the Ball to discuss the result. 

Heaslip lauded the performance, even though New Zealand were reduced to 14 men for the majority of the game, saying: "If you think about it, the All Blacks, I don't know what their current streak was until now in terms of games won but if you take them over the last eight years - they're back-to-back World Champions, they're probably favourites for the next World Cup, for example.

"And here you are, just a couple of weeks ago the lads got together and they didn't even have their full squad until they got on the plane to go to New Zealand.

"And, here they are, a couple of weeks later, beating the number-one ranked best team in the world.

"It's a massive achievement and for a player...it means a lot to put that jersey on," he added.  

Lions' Taulupe Faletau scores their first try. Image: ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Looking at the impact of the red card on the match, the Leinsterman said: "In fairness, in the week previously, New Zealand kind of took their time, they were 13-8 last week and then they kind of opened up.

"The sense I get from them is that the lads can't get carried away because the conditions were not great to play ball with. 

"Some people are saying it might have suited the Lions and not the All Blacks...but having been on a team which has gone down to 14 men - it's not easy and it's just a struggle.

"If the team is smart - they'll exploit space. It took the Lions a while to find their feet and they got rewarded for attacking and their two tries came from them actually playing pretty wide and exploiting that space." 

The Ireland number 8 when on to explain what changes he'd like to see for the third test and you can listen to the full interview here:

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