Rowntree lauds New Zealand's set-piece precision

The Lions take on the All Blacks this Saturday

BY Simon Maguire 18:15 Wednesday 21 June 2017, 18:15 21 Jun 2017

Scrum coach Graham Rowntree. Image: ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Lions' scrum coach Graham Rowntree has praised the New Zealand set-piece ahead of the opening test of the 2017 Lions series this weekend. 

A slow start to the tour had seen the Lions disregarded early on by the New Zealand media and fans. However, a steady improvement over the last few games has seen aspects of their play commended.

However, Rowntree was quick to praise both the line-out and scrum of the back-to-back World Champions. 

Speaking ahead of the squad announcement for the first test, he said: “They have a very efficient and excellent line-out, particularly with Kieran Read in the mix, and in the scrum, my department – they have been leading the charge for quite a long time now, exceptionally well coached by Mike Cron.

“They are an honest team, an efficient honest forward pack and we have got our hands full but luckily we have had some good challenges over the last two weeks and I am really happy with how the boys have adapted.

“You saw the challenges we had at scrum time in Otago, against the Crusaders as well against an All Blacks front five, but the guys have learned and are adapting well.

“Those challenges, those encounters are what we need to be able to learn and step up a gear for this pack at the weekend which as I said, I think is the best in the world," he added. 

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