Woodward: French referee good for Lions

Clive Woodward believes the British & Irish Lions' familiarity with Romain Poite will give them a big advantage over the All Blacks on Saturday.

The French referee is a mainstay in the European leagues and the Six Nations.

'The Lions have a big advantage here,' the 2003 World Cup-winning England coach wrote in his column for the Daily Mail. 'Jérôme Garcès was the referee on Saturday and his fellow Frenchman Romain Poite will take charge this week in Auckland.

'They are two of the world's best referees and the Lions should know their modus operandi by now and must make this advantage work for them.'

Woodward also urged the Lions to improve their discipline.

'Cut out on the penalties and the Lions can make glorious history on Saturday. Carry on offending and the All Blacks won't let them off the hook a second time. Conceding 13 penalties, with 10 of them resulting in shots at goal, is totally unacceptable. And the majority of them against a team down to 14 men following the dismissal of Sonny Bill Williams.

'Make no mistake, the Lions pack were much a more aggressive and physical unit in Wellington than they had been the previous week, but with that came the indiscipline.

'Actions must speak louder than words this week. Ireland conceded just four penalties when defeating the All Blacks in Chicago and that must be the benchmark.'

Photo: Graham Wilson/Getty Images

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