Resident Kiwi Mike Storey talks 3rd test and what we can expect.
The British and Irish Lions play their final match of the tour on Saturday against New Zealand which is one of the most anticipated matches of the professional era.
Former Auckland Blue and Munster prop Mike Storey and treble winning UL bohs women’s rugby head coach spoke with Sporting Limerick’s Raffaele Rocca about the mouth watering third test in Eden Park.
The Lions are going into this match off the back of a famous victory last weekend against a stunned fourteen man All Blacks side and the treble winning coach believes the fact the series is levelled is totally fair and is looking forward Saturday.
” I just think it’s brilliant for rugby… You can’t complain with a win each”
Storey goes on to make a very good point about the introduction of the youngster Jordie Barrett
“With Naholo and Ioane there was no big kicker to get them out of trouble, I think this week they’ve said it woks well with those two full backs in the back three… and decided to bring Jordie Barrett in which I think will strengthen them”
From the outside many would have seen the inclusion of Barrett due to the poor performances overall from Waisake Naholo and Rieko Ioane but the former Munster man feels they brought him in to help combat the territory game the Lions will play.
Talking about the Lions unchanged 23, Storey would have liked to have seen a different starting XV
“I would have liked to have seen one or two changes, I would have liked to have seen Jack McGrath in for Vunipola”
I think a lot of Irish and Lions fans would have liked to see that change being made due to Vunipola’s indiscipline and McGraths impact when he came on.
When asked about how crucial the first twenty will be Storey makes an interesting comment, “Both teams have shown they can get over not starting the test well”
Furthermore Storey says the Lions will be confident after their second half performance last week: “It was the 50 minute mark when the Lions started to make that count… They’ll take confidence from the fact they scored in the last quarter, which is normally the time when the All Blacks dominate”
An All Blacks win in Eden park is all Storey can see, but on a side note he felt this tour has been so good due to the schedule and the competitiveness of each game compared to previous tours.
“I think the test series were very good but I didn’t really worry about watching the midweek games because it was always a given on who was going to win… As a fan I think it’s been the best tour I’ve seen in relation to every match being competitive ”
One thing is for sure, Saturday promises to be a huge game. At the start of the series, if you offered Gatland 1-1 heading into the last test, he would have taken it, so too would the players and supporters.
A pulsating 80 minutes of rugby awaits.
You can listen to Storeys full interview here