British & Irish Lions

Finn Russell questions Lions tactics on SA tour: 'We should have played more rugby'

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Finn Russell. (David Rogers/Getty Images)
Finn Russell. (David Rogers/Getty Images)

British & Irish Lions flyhalf Finn Russell has questioned the tactics employed by Warren Gatland's team during their 2-1 series defeat to the Springboks.

The Scotland flyhalf sparked the Lions attack when he came on for Dan Biggar early in the final Test in Cape Town but it was not enough to prevent his team from going down 19-16.

Speaking on the Scottish Rugby podcast, Russell said he felt the tourists should have employed a more enterprising game style in the series.

"I thought that all three Tests we should have played more rugby and gone at them a little bit more," he said.

"The first two Tests we played off nine for two phases and I kind of felt that played into their defence.

"We weren't doing much out of the back of it. We were keeping the attack narrow instead of having a wide attack.

"The first 10 minutes of the third Test, there was still quite a bit of kicking and a lot of play off nine. There wasn't much rugby that actually got played.

"I was sitting on the bench thinking we are doing the same as in the last two games even though we’ve spoken about being a little bit more expansive. With coming on early enough, I was able to try and play that style of rugby."

When Biggar limped off in the 11th minute, Russell said hwis Scottish halfback partner Ali Price told him 'let's have a bit of fun'.

"I kept saying to the boys make sure we get as flat as we can and get the ball out of the hands quickly. If you are confident in your skills and flat enough on them, they can't recover when you throw that pass across the front and kick to the edge.

"That’s how I've always played, so it's fine for me. My mindset was that whenever I got on I was going to run it and play everything. That's what I thought was best to take them on."

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