Lions tour: All Blacks aura still very much exists - Furlong

  • 04/07/2017

Tadhg Furlong has scoffed at suggestions the All Blacks aura has dissipated following his British and Irish Lions' 24-21 second-Test victory.

The Irish tighthead battled through 62 minutes in Wellington last Saturday as his Lions pinched a late win via the boot of Owen Farrell.

Tadgh Furlong
Tadgh Furlong. Photo credit: Getty

It marks the Lions' first Test defeat of the All Blacks since 1993, and hands them the opportunity to win the series on Saturday at Eden Park.

Nevertheless, Furlong told reporters the All Blacks remained the All Blacks - back-to-back world champions with the finest skillsets in world rugby.

They'd also be emotionally stung by the late loss with 14 men - their first on home turf since 2009, when they lost to South Africa in Hamilton.

So his side would have to rein in their discipline, having given away 13 second-Test penalties, and play with the same sense of physicality.

"You always fear the All Blacks in that, if you don't get your stuff sorted or man up and meet them head on, it's a tough day at the office," Furlong said.

"If that doesn't happen, they're going to cut you (to) ribbons in the wider channels if you give them any space. Likewise, they can score tries from anywhere - (and) if none of that works, they're just so damn consistent."

After struggling to assert scrum-time dominance in the first Test, Furlong and front-row partners Jamie George and Mako Vunipola enjoyed a more productive night in the Kiwi capital, down in part to their man advantage.

The 24-year-old Furlong said it was unusual to face the same front-row trio so frequently, with Joe Moody, Codie Taylor and Owen Franks also packing down in the scrum for the Crusaders' 12-3 loss to the Lions in early June.

He said they were a world-class unit.

"Sometimes you're just holding on to get parity, especially on your ball, and it's hugely competitive," the Leinster-based Furlong said.

"It's a weird dynamic playing each other so often because you can get used to little things, but then you go to the next match and they try to bring something different and you have to counter. It's sort of tit-for-tat."