Expect more attacking cohesion - McGeechan

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    13 Jun 2017     Getty Images

McGeechan said the lack of tries was not a concern at this stage. It was far easier to develop defensive plays than it was to achieve continuity in attacking phases in the early stages of a tour, and he felt that would be evident in the next three games.


Speaking to talkSport in Britain he said: "It's tremendously difficult at the beginning of a tour.

"I agree with what Warren Gatland has done – you have to give every player a start – so they are familiarising themselves with playing together, and the hardest bit is the timing of runs and support lines in attack when it's fractions of a second that make the difference."

McGeechan said the more the Lions looked that those things and practiced, the more they fell into place.

"Every Lions tour I was on, in games three, four and five the curve of improvement just climbs, because you're with the best players.

"You can't forget how important, not just the games are, but the training sessions that are going on in between – because these good players do get an understanding and do force the environment to keep the improvements going.

"You could see the difference between the Blues and the Crusaders on Saturday, and I think even though the team is changing they've got the tactics they want to develop to beat New Zealand," he said.
It wasn't so much about looking at the individual sides in the early games, it was about developing the internal processes of the side and against the Highlanders it would be a continuation of developing the tactical approach. That would continue against the Maori All Blacks as well, he said.

McGeechan added that he felt Gatland would have felt he had some bonuses out of the Crusaders game, albeit as the result of injuries.

He probably didn't expect that bonus with Jonathan Davies coming on and seeing Owen Farrell and Johnny Sexton work together. Sexton had a good game to play himself back into Test contention, he said.

"I think Warren Gatland will still want to see Farrell at 10 and [Ben] Te'o at 12 with Jonathan Davies at 13 – probably in the two games leading up to that first Test. He's still got combinations to look at," he said.

TICKETS: Limited tickets are still available to the Highlanders v British & Irish Lions match at Forsyth Barr Stadium. Click HERE for ticketing information.