Tom Curry has argued that the British and Irish Lions should have been better prepared for the Springboks in the summer test series.
The Lions got their test series against South Africa off on the right foot in the first match, having come from behind at half time to secure a 22-17 victory in Cape Town.
However, the Springboks stuck with their trusted game plan and ground out a comfortable win against the Lions in the second test, before a late Morne Steyn penalty clinched the series for the hosts in the final test.
England and Lions flanker Curry was speaking to The Telegraph and argued that the Lions didn’t implement an “obvious game plan” in response to South Africa’s tactics.
Tom Curry on the Lions’ series with South Africa.
“It’s just the fact that their game plan is very obvious and we didn’t implement a game plan that was… obvious. Do you know what I mean?” Curry said.
“To combat the aerial battle and their kicking game, we needed to be better as a group at imposing ourselves. We just came off second best in a lot of things and that made it more difficult. We could have gone into those games better prepared, I think.
“Clarity is a massive part of that. I wouldn’t say it’s the be-all and end-all. You’ve got to turn up and actions mean more than any words.
“But we had an opportunity and we missed it. It’ll be a massive learning curve because those opportunities don’t come around very often.”
Saturday night is curry night 🥘
Tom Curry night 🙃🙌
— British & Irish Lions (@lionsofficial) August 27, 2021
Players express their disappointment with the tour.
Curry is not the first Lions player to have questioned aspects of the side’s performance in South Africa, with Finn Russell and Iain Henderson both criticising the tactics used against the Springboks.
Russell argued that the Lions should have played more rugby against the reigning world champions, while questioning why the tourists opted against spreading the ball wide in attack before he was introduced in the third test.
Henderson, who missed out on selection for the three tests, believes that the Lions were trying to beat South Africa at their own game, which wasn’t exactly a wise move as the Springboks had won a World Cup with the same tactics.
While Australia found success against South Africa using an attack-focused game plan in the Rugby Championship, surprisingly New Zealand were unable to expose the same flaws in the Springboks’ defence in the following weeks.