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Lions Coach's Comments On Discipline Could Be Boost For Jack McGrath

Lions Coach's Comments On Discipline Could Be Boost For Jack McGrath
By David Kent
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Saturday's second Lions Test may not have been the immortal event which Sky decided to hype it as, but it was huge to avoid a dead rubber third Test. It could've been a whole lot worse if the All Blacks had capitalised on the opportunities presented to them.

The Lions conceded 13 penalties during the second Test - a lot of which were within scoring distance. Had Beauden Barrett been a bit more hot with his boot, there would've been no comeback and the series would be over. Four misses = 12 points kicked away.

As it was, Mako Vunipola's yellow card seemed to stir the Lions out of their slumber as they squeaked out a 24-21 victory.


Graham Rowntree was questioned about the high penalty count during a press conference on Sunday. His answer was standard enough for a coach:

We will have to sit down and look at it in the cold light of day. It is not the same individuals. There is a trait to what we are doing, but it is not the same individuals.

We can’t lose a Test series on the back of some stupid penalties. That would be unacceptable. How do you live with that for the rest of your life?

We have got to sort it out because it is going to kill us. We have to sit them down and show them every day.

When asked if players with poor discipline faced being dropped, Rowntree warned that may be necessary - which is intriguing for the case of one Irish Lion:

If that is what it takes.

Gats has shown he is not afraid of doing things like that. But as I say, it is not as if it is the same offenders. We will be very frank and objective with the lads. The pictures are undeniable. That will be a big theme of the week

The offender in chief for conceding penalties? Mako Vunipola. The loosehead prop was eventually booked after a shoulder challenge, but many felt he should've been subbed before that. Jack McGrath came onto the pitch as his replacement on 66 minutes and gave a good showing for himself.

If Rowntree's comments are accurate, we could see McGrath come into the side for the decisive third Test in Eden Park on Saturday morning.

SEE ALSO: Graham Simmons Takes Lions Hype To Barely Palatable Level During Sean O'Brien Interview

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