Gatland: Lions spots up for grabs after flop

Warren Gatland (Getty)
Warren Gatland (Getty)

Auckland - Coach Warren Gatland said his forwards had under-performed and indicated he was ready to wield the axe after the British and Irish Lions crashed 30-15 to the All Blacks on Saturday.

The New Zealander said Tuesday's tour match against the Wellington Hurricanes was a big chance for players to force their way into the side for next week's second Test.

Gatland had placed great store in his forwards dominating the battle up front but found they were not good enough against an All Blacks side that posted a commanding victory.

After leading 13-8 at half-time, the hosts pulled away midway through the second half when the All Blacks demolished a Lions scrum, leading to a try by 20-year-old wing Rieko Ioane.

"It's a big game for those guys on Tuesday against the Hurricanes. They'll see it as an opportunity," Gatland said, who must now go back to the drawing board.

"From my point of view we've got to be much more physical next week because they've taken a very physical approach tonight."

Gatland said he was "disappointed" in his forwards, who had no answer to the All Blacks' strength.

"We've had some success off our driven lineout (before) but the All Blacks sacked us... we didn't get a lot of success from our proper lineout," he said.

"And obviously one scrum caught us and put us under pressure, so from a set-piece point of view there are a couple of areas for improvement."

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