Hurricanes v British and Irish LionsVenue: Westpac Stadium, Wellington Date: Tuesday, 27 June Kick-off: 08:35 BSTCoverage: Live text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app
The British and Irish Lions can beat New Zealand but must change tactics rather than personnel, says former coach Sir Clive Woodward.
The tourists on Saturday.
Woodward, whose Lions side suffered a 3-0 whitewash by the All Blacks in 2005, says Warren Gatland’s team need to dominate possession rather than trying to play a box-kicking game.
“The All Blacks are totally beatable,” said Woodward, 61.
“But you have got to dominate possession and if you don’t they are so talented, so good, so physical, you are going to get beat.”
England’s World Cup-winning coach told “We didn’t lose the game based on selection.
“What happens in the UK, you box kick, the opposition get it, play a couple of phases and normally kick the ball back.
“You box kick down here, the All Blacks catch it and you don’t get the ball back.”
The Lions face the Hurricanes on Tuesday, before Saturday’s second Test against the All Blacks in Wellington (both 08:35 BST kick-offs).
Woodward, who toured New Zealand as a Lions player in 1983, was impressed with Gatland’s attacking line-up and said defeat by “one of the best sporting teams in the world” should be put in perspective.
He highlighted the performance of full-back Liam Williams and wingers Elliot Daly and Anthony Watson, adding that scrum-half Conor Murray’s use of the ball – making a game-high 11 kicks from hand – was down to the “team plan”.
“When we ran from deep and had the confidence to keep the ball in hand, we played really well,” added Woodward.
“I just don’t want to see us kick the ball away.”
Woodward called New Zealand lock Brodie Retallick’s performance on Saturday “one of the best I’ve ever seen”, adding that the Lions need to match the All Blacks like for like in the remaining Tests.
“They are physical, they are direct and they are tough to beat,” he added. “You know what’s coming.
“My own personal view is you have to try and pick a team that plays similar to them, try and match them at what they do really well.
“If you can match them you have got half a chance.”