Keith Wood has seen a template that could serve the Lions well

Former Ireland captain shares his thoughts on Off The Ball

BY Raf Diallo 20:52 Wednesday 14 June 2017, 20:52 14 Jun 2017

Lions Owen Farrell with Conor Murray ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Keith Wood feels the British and Irish Lions have shown a valuable "template" for the big tests to come after watching their Saturday clash against Crusaders when they triumphed 12-3.

Warren Gatland's side followed that up with their 23-22 loss to Highlanders on Tuesday.

The Ireland captain was impressed with some of the individual performances in the Crusaders game, pointing out the contributions of the half back pairing of Owen Farrell and Conor Murray, with the Englishman kicking all 12 of the Lions scores, while the Irish scrum half shone. Sean O'Brien, Peter O'Mahony and Tadhg Furlong were the other Irish starters against Crusaders.

"I do think the game at the weekend was the template and I thought the Lions played really well," Wood said on Off The Ball's Wednesday Night Rugby.

"I thought their line speed was excellent. I thought Conor Murray and Owen Farrell were sublime in the game and I know it's hard to call it sublime when they're kicking a huge amount of ball but they were doing it with such unerring accuracy.

"It was a joy to watch. It wasn't an exciting game. It was really a Northern Hemisphere game and the more pertinent comment in this last week has been Graham Henry, saying, 'Don't try and emulate the All Blacks. Try and do what you can do really well and do at a higher standard than anybody else can', which is a particular style of, I'd say, Saracens type rugby, is the easiest line to call it and I thought the Lions did that."

Wood also added that he isn't sure how intensely momentum should be judged at the moment after two wins and two losses and further matches to come en route to the first test against the All Blacks on June 24th, given the differences between the test teams and midweek teams.

You can listen to the full chat on the podcast player and you can find Rugby on Off The Ball on iTunes right here.


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