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Warren Gatland happy with tour start

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Gatland pleased with start to tour (©GettyImages)
Gatland pleased with start to tour (©GettyImages).

British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland is happy with the start his side have made to the tour of Australia. 

The Lions had to lift their game against a determined Queensland Reds and battled to a 22-12 victory after convincing wins against poor opposition, the Barbarians and Western Force.

Gatland has revealed he's very happy following three victories from the opening three games.

"Absolutely. I'm very, very happy," Gatland said on Sunday.

"Yesterday's game was exactly what we wanted. We would like a couple more lead-in games, and for the first two games to be a bit tougher than they were, but that's what happens on tour - you are not dealing with tough teams all the time - so we will have to see what Tuesday is like."

There are three games remaining before the first test on June 22 but the Lions have recently lost props Cian Healy and Gethin Jenkins to injury. Wing Tommy Bowe has also undergone surgery on a damaged hand and are all doubts for the first test.

They face a Queensland-New South Wales Country XV on Tuesday in what is likely to be another convincing victory. But it was a different case on Saturday when the Lions had to dig deep at Suncorp Stadium to beat Queensland Reds.

Fly-half Owen Farrell's 17-point haul made the difference after Reds backs Luke Morahan and Nick Frisby had scored tries in each half.

Set-piece control was a major factor to the Lions win as they showed a dominant scrum and effective lineout.

Gatland was impressed with the set-pieces that was the component for victory against Queensland Reds.

"I thought that (set-pieces) was the victory in the game," Gatland added. "If you look at the way the Reds played - tactically, maybe Australia will do the same thing - they kept the ball in the park and only had about four lineouts.

"It was like watching Wales play against other teams. I thought our scrum was excellent and the lineout very good defensively.

"There needs to be a huge amount of credit placed on that part of our game."

 

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Topics:
British & Irish Lions
Rugby Union
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