Lions tour: Hurricanes forwards must tackle British and Irish Lions pack head on

  • 26/06/2017

John Plumtree and Brad Shields don't use a lot of complicated words to describe what must be done to beat the British and Irish Lions, but the main ones start with P - pressure, patience, physicality, parity and platform.

Plumtree, the Hurricanes' assistant coach, said on Monday that out of the teams he has helped prepare to play a touring Lions side - he was with Wellington in 2005 and South African outfit the Sharks four years later - this is likely to be the strongest.          

"We always put pressure on ourselves to win, that's the standard we set ourselves," he said.

"It's (the Lions) a superb team and we know what the task is to have to play above ourselves to win."

Plumtree said there will be a desire to play with some width, but that's not possible unless the forward battle is won, or at least even.

"We have to be smart and it's up to our forwards to stand up and build a platform.

"Securing possession and being patient, building pressure - the last thing we want to do is defend all day against the Lions."

Shields said the physical nature of the contest will determine a lot.

"The Lions are big boys, we have to dominate as much as we can and put them under pressure, so it's up to the forwards to set the tone.

"When we (the forwards) go well and get stuck in, the rest of team does, we can set that backline alight."

Plumtree said the four released All Blacks - Ngani Laumape, Jordie Barrett, Vaea Fifita and Julian Savea - along with the Maori All Blacks player Nehe Milner- Skudder, Otere Black, Te Toirora-Tahuriorangi and Ben May, will be charged for the match in front of a capacity home crowd.

Shields said many of his team may not realise what the occasion is really like until they run out onto Westpac Stadium, and he was honoured to run out in front of them.