Lions tour: All Blacks out to match British and Irish Lions desperation

  • 30/06/2017

The All Blacks can't afford to give the British and Irish Lions a foothold back into the series says captain Kieran Read, who expects the tourists to hold nothing back in the second Test.

The world champions have been preparing all week for a fierce response in Wellington on Saturday following their 15-point opening win at Eden Park.

The last thing Read wants is a return trip to Auckland with the series locked 1-1 and momentum with the Lions.

Putting the foot on the throat in Wellington, where they've won their last 16 Tests, is foremost in the mind of the skipper ahead of his 99th Test.

"The Lions come around every 12 years so it's pretty special," he said.

"I hope that's not lost on our players. I'm certainly excited by the whole challenge.

"If we're sitting back and waiting and expecting what the Lions are going to bring, we'll be dominated out there."

The likelihood of a tense, forward-based contest has increased following the forecast for wind and rain throughout Saturday in the capital.

A match that was already going to be won on small details, would only tighten up further, Read believed.

"You can't just turn up and expect to throw the ball around in those conditions," he said.

"You've really got to earn the right to win territory first and then from there put as much pressure as you can on.

"It's going to be hard to score points."

Read is sure the All Blacks won't malfunction again at lineout time, which was probably their worst aspect of the first Test, attributed to "timing" issues.

He is also heartened by the pre-Test message from French referee Jerome Garces, who told the teams he is determined the match won't become a stop-start set piece contest.

"He wants to let the game flow, he doesn't want too much chat so hopefully we can just let him do his thing," Read said.

"It's going to be a pretty testy game. We'll let him ref and try to play it as best we can."

Read was interested in the Lions' changes, with the promotion of Johnny Sexton and captain Sam Warburton giving the visitors two playmakers and two openside flankers respectively.

It won't change the basics of how the All Blacks plan to play but there will some "subtle" tweaks to their tactics.

"We've got a game plan that we think is right for how the Lions are going to play," he said.

"If it turns out it's different then we'll have to adapt on the run."

NZN

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