Lions tour: All Blacks will be ready for Lions style - Crusaders coach Scott Robertson

  • 11/06/2017

Crusaders coach Scott Robertson believes the All Blacks will be better equipped than his team were to cope with trench warfare from the British and Irish Lions.

Robertson's Super Rugby-leaders had no answer to the Lions' physicality and pin-point kicking game, going down 12-3 in their first loss of 2017.

Averaging 37 points per game this season, the Crusaders rarely looked like scoring a try, squeezed of possession and territory against a style of play they don't often encounter.

"It's not what we're used to here in Super Rugby, there's usually a few tries," Robertson said.

"But they found a way to win good, luck to them.

"They're going to be better for that game and they'll obviously take more confidence going into those Test matches."

However, Robertson sounded a note of warning to the tourists.

He says while the Crusaders had only a handful of days to prepare tactically, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen will have spent months doing so.

Hansen has repeatedly predicted the Lions will employ a forward-based game and their first three tour games have done little to sway that thought.

"We thought they were going to play that way and he (Hansen) knows they will," Robertson said.

"He'll have done a lot of homework and he'll have the All Blacks ready to turn them around a little bit better than what we did tonight."

Robertson is sure the Lions' halves pairing were finalised on Saturday, with Irish halfback Connor Murray and England first five-eighth Owen Farrell hugely influential.

Both were particularly skilful with their general kicking.

"Farrell's world class, he reads the game and sees space," Robertson said.

"Our back three were out of position a couple of times and he exploited it really quickly.

"Murray was superb. He was just hanging it up there perfectly and we just didn't deal with that.

"They played Test rugby."

NZN

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