British & Irish Lions captain Alun Wyn Jones has said his team will seek to vary their tactics in the decisive third Test against South Africa.
Although Jones said Saturday’s match in Cape Town had the potential to be an “arm wrestle”, similar to the first two Tests, the Lions needed to be able to play a more attacking game if they got the opportunity.
“Sometimes ‘finals’ can be attritional, but they can open up,” he said during an online news conference.
“I’d like to think we are prepared for both. We don’t want to stifle ourselves with too much relying on the kicking game. It’s a balance, which is probably something we didn’t have last week.”
Jones said he expected “simplicity, discipline, accuracy and the energy we’ve shown throughout the tour” from his players.
Improving the Lions’ set-piece and their discipline were key requirements after the penalty count went against them, particularly in the last 20 minutes of the second Test.
Another priority will be to maintain the tempo of the game after it took more than two hours to complete two 40-minute halves in last Saturday’s second Test.
Jones said niggling exchanges with the opposition could be expected.
“They always happen,” he said. “It’s a case of not taking a step back but also an awareness of keeping the game flowing.”
He said the fact that the third Test starting XV hadn’t played together previously was “probably the biggest challenge you find on a Lions tour”, but he was not unduly concerned.
“We’ve had that week on week since the start of the tour.
“The game plan I’d like to think has been very similar throughout and (so has) the consciousness of the players on the job at hand. And let’s not forget the level of player that we have here.”
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