Lions shrug off depressing results

British & Irish Lions manager Gerald Davies has dismissed the mediocre showing of the home nations saying there’s plenty of rugby to come before the tour to South Africa.

Daves admitted the recent results against South Africa, Australia an New Zealand were disappointing, but given it’s only the beginning of the northern hemisphere season, it is no time to panic.

“Ian McGeechan, as head coach, will have been looking at the scores of the last few weeks and wishing they were better,” Davies said. “But we are not unduly concerned because it’s a nine-month season and there is still some way to go. The autumn is still being played and we have got the Six Nations to come.

“What is going to be increasingly important is European competition in the shape of the European and Challenge Cups. We decided, some time ago, we would not finish our research at the Six Nations.

“We will go beyond it and look at Europe, because we are talking about two competitive cup competitions, with fixtures being like mini-internationals, when you consider the tensions, stresses and need to win.”

All four home nations have looked below par in the skill department, but have also lacked the killer instinct. Scotland and Wales failed to put South Africa away, while Wales slumped again after testing the All Blacks in the initial stages last week.

Davies is hoping the Dragons can put one over Australia to provide the Lions management with some joy.

“I expect Wales to win this weekend. I think they deserve to because they have performed well this November, but have not got the results. But it’s not a matter of deserving, it’s a matter of turning up and actually winning.

“I don’t know why, but for whatever reason the home countries haven’t performed as they should have during the November campaign. We will be undertaking a detailed analysis of the autumn internationals and that is the kind of thing we will study in the days to come.

“Yes, we would have liked a more encouraging autumn. But we must not permit what has happened to depress us. Rather, we must use it as an inspiration for when the important time comes and we go to South Africa.”