Lions tour: British and Irish Lions' 10-man style will be hard to combat - Ian Foster
If the British and Irish Lions can execute their style of play they will be a hard side to get the better of, according to All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster.
The tourists have won arguably the two toughest non-Test matches of the tour against the Crusaders and Maori All Blacks respectively by implementing a clinical, low-risk 10-man style of rugby.
In both wins, the Lions were able to shut down the attacking flare of the opposition and dominate both possession and territory.
Foster is confident the All Blacks will have the answers on Saturday night when the two sides meet in Auckland, but it won't be easy by any means.
"It poses a different set of challenges," Foster told Sunday Sport on RadioLIVE.
"Whether we like the style or not is irrelevant, the fact is that they believe in it and are very efficient at doing it and we are going have to work very hard to break it down.
"They really want to slow you down and strangle you, and they have been finding their feet in trying to find the style that suits them.
"I actually think they would like to play [attack] a little bit more but when they do attack they are getting themselves into a little bit of trouble, so they revert back to style they know and are very efficient at.
"They have a formula that they like and believe in."
Conditions for Saturday night's Test are forecast to be dry which Foster acknowledges will suit his side, however should the rain close in, the former Waikato five-eighth says they know what to expect from their opposition.
"You have had two, wet, cold nights that has certainly suited their style of play and they have been smart enough to do that. Is it going to worry us? Well no more than normal. We aren't seeing a lot of surprises about what's coming on Saturday night."
The battle of the tight five is expected to be a crucial factor in deciding the eventual outcome of the Test series; Foster is very confident in the All Blacks stock, as shown in Friday night's 73-0 romp over Samoa.
The All Blacks big men linked beautifully with the backs and at times out-shined them.
"We think we have an edge there, yes.
"The Lions take a lot pride in the skillset of their tight-five but it's predominantly through the scrum, lineout and slowing the ball down."