Former England scrum half Kyran Bracken remains bullish of the British and Irish Lions chances ahead of Saturday’s first test match against the Wallabies despite the touring sides first loss of the tour.
The Lions were narrowly beaten by the ACT Brumbies in a side that included Saracens’ Matt Stevens, Owen Farrell and fresh from his holiday Brad Barritt; but Bracken believes the set-back will be a “shot across the Lions bows” and will remind them of the task in hand on the eve of the series’ first test this Saturday;
“I think that the Brumbies result is the best thing that has happened to this Lions tour,” explained Bracken who will host a screening of the first test on the giant screen at Allianz Park on Saturday – click here for more details.
“The games have seemed to be pretty meaningless so far; the Lions don’t seem to have been really tested, winning by 50 or 60 points is meaningless, so Tuesday was the first time they were put under any kind of examination.
“It’s a shot across their bows; everything has been going quite nicely for the Lions with them winning comfortably and seeing expectancy continuing to rise, and you never want to be going into a Lions series, especially one against the Australians who can play some rugby, as the Brumbies proved, being complacent. It’s not going to be a foregone conclusion.”
Despite the loss to the Brumbies in Canberra, Bracken believes that the battle hardened Lions will catch an Australian side, deprived of competitive action for their provincial sides, cold come Saturday; and it is in the test arena where Bracken believes the Lions success will be ultimately measured.
“The test games are where the Lions are judged, not the midweek games and for me personally, this is where the Lions tour begins,” he said.
“So a little slip and losing a 100% record isn’t exactly a bad thing for the Lions, and I still do think the Lions have the advantage going into the first test.
“You should bear in mind that the Aussies haven’t even played a game, they have been in camp for three or four weeks and then they are asking them to go straight into test match against the Lions preferred starting XV and win? I can’t see that happening. The loss against the Brumbies was a wake-up call and that’s all it is, all the talk has been of clean sweep and that defeat just brings everyone down back to earth and I’m confident of the Lions chances come Saturday.”
Remember if you are not in Australia, Allianz Park will be the next best place to be to watch the first Lions test on June 22. Join with other fans to watch the game on our giant screen and enjoy the big match atmosphere.
It’s just £10 for adults and free for U16s and with coaching sessions for youngsters on the pitch, it promises to be a great day. Or why not enjoy an all-you-can-eat breakfast before the test and a VIP seat to watch the game for just £20! – Click here for more details.