Blog Banner

Warburton - Only a series win will do

3rd July 2017

Sam Warburton insists the job is only half done and he will only be happy if the British & Irish Lions seal a series win after guiding his team to a second Test victory over New Zealand.

The Cardiff Blues ace returned to the starting line-up in Wellington and played the entire 80 minutes as the Lions claimed an historic win.

It was a typically industrious and combative display from Warburton, who was a constant nuisance at the breakdown, but he refused to get ahead of himself at full-time.

“I didn’t even celebrate when the final whistle went,” he said, after leading his team to a 24-21 win at the Westpac Stadium.

“I just thought ‘we are evens now’. They won the first half, we won the second half, we have got one more half to come.

“I am glad we have taken it to Eden Park next week, but I will genuinely only be happy if we get that Test series win.

“I am glad we have got one win because regardless of what happens we will come back with some credibility for the Lions moving forward, but I just want to get the job done and bring that series home.”

New Zealand were the only top tier nation that Warburton had not previously triumphed over and he admits that was a major motivating factor.

They kept the All Blacks to zero tries, in a huge defensive effort despite the home side being down to 14 men for much of the encounter.

It was the first time the world champions had not scored a try in three years and that gave the flanker particular satisfaction.

He added: “I didn’t even realise until someone told me afterwards that we hadn’t conceded a try.

“The game passes you by so quick. I actually took a second to think about that. That is an incredible achievement even though I know we were against 14 men.

“We are prepared for a tough encounter next week against 15 blokes. So we will have to step up again next week, but I’m very proud of that defensive effort.
“You can talk all the tactics in the world, but sometimes it’s just about a bit of desire to get off the line and win some shots and put some collisions in and we had that. We were more aggressive coming off our line and won more collisions.

“It’s good knowing that we can come to such a tough place like New Zealand on short preparation time and be able to win a Test match and potentially win a Test series.

“It’s great that we managed to put that performance into the jersey and hopefully that will keep the Lions alive for at least another four years.”

Captain's Call to Arms: Support Sam Warburton and his pride of British & Irish Lions at Cardiff Arms Park as they face New Zealand in a winner-takes-all third Test.

The Cardiff Blues club house will be throwing its doors open for the showdown in Auckland with the game show on the big screens, breakfast options available an the bar open.