Ronan O’Gara has admitted that he isn’t excited for the British and Irish Lions’ third test against South Africa as a result of the dour rugby played in the series so far.
Although the winner-takes-all in the third Lions test, there has been a muted build-up to the decisive match after two games in which there was very little positive, attacking rugby and plenty of officiating interruptions.
Former Ireland and Lions fly-half O’Gara was speaking on the BBC’s Rugby Union Weekly podcast and argued that the third test will have to surpass all expectations for the test series to be “saved”.
The deciding Test of a #LionsRugby Series 😆
It’s a chance to touch greatness.
To feel it. To taste it. To carve your name into history for evermore.
— British & Irish Lions (@lionsofficial) August 7, 2021
Ronan O’Gara on the ‘disappointing’ Lions series.
“The series is 1-1 and I don’t feel any positivity or excitement about this weekend which is startling when you think about who is playing and what’s at stake,” O’Gara said.
“It’s very easy to understand the aggrievements of supporters because unfortunately there have been very little positive actions on the pitch.
“It is very disappointing because you are talking about the best of the best of the British and Irish Lions against South Africa.
“There has been cynicism, anger and frustration. The rugby needs to be really strong at the weekend for this series to be saved.”
Warren Gatland promises to play more rugby.
Lions head coach Warren Gatland has stated his team’s intent to play more attacking rugby in the final test, having heavily relied on kicking and set-piece play so far in the test series.
Courtney Lawes has echoed his head coach’s comments, saying that himself and his team mates aren’t interested in time-wasting tactics, and promised to attempt to speed the game up.
While the tourists’ seem more frustrated with the cagey nature of the opening two games, South Africa have played more attacking rugby, and have outscored the Lions by three tries to one in the series.
Gatland has made six changes to his starting team for the third test, but a change in gameplan will be needed to drastically change the pace at which the match is played.