Coaches cost Lions Test series victory: O'Brien

After a disappointing first Test the Lions came back to draw the series with the All Blacks 1-1

After a disappointing first Test the Lions came back to draw the series with the All Blacks 1-1

The British and Irish Lions didn't win this year's Test series against the All Blacks because they were worked too hard by coach Warren Gatland, according to flanker Sean O'Brien.

Speaking immediately after the drawn third Test in July, Gatland said: "Given the schedule, given how tough the tour was, to come to New Zealand and get a draw you've got to be proud of that".

The Lions drew the three-Test series against the All Blacks, but O'Brien felt it should have been a victorious one for the tourists.

LIONS CHIEF EXECUTIVE John Feehan has responded to Sean O'Brien's recent criticism, and shown his support for Warren Gatland and his backroom team. Maybe it's more of a coaching point of view in terms of taking lessons.

O'Brien was critical of the build-up to the first Test match in Auckland, where the Lions lost 30-15, particularly a triple-session 48 hours before kick-off that left the squad "heavy-legged".

Australian Jones, citing his four-year contract with England and his desire to make them "the best team in the world", was quick to rule himself out as the Lions' potential coach when speculation around an appointment mounted last year.

"I don't know how he would have done it, but Eddie would have found a way". That achievement can not be overstated'.

"I think the first week we definitely over-trained on the Thursday - maybe the coaches were maybe panicking a little bit about getting the information into us and the workload".

We did almost the same thing on the last week. "But at the end of the day I think, with the squad we had, we should have beaten them".

O'Brien criticised backs coach Rob Howley for not conveying his messages clearly and said fly-halfs Johnny Sexton and Owen Farrell had stepped up to take charge.

The Lions have also pointed out that they made 15 clean breaks in the first Test, the most by any Test team in New Zealand since 2012.

"The coaches have a lot to answer for in terms of our attack, rather than Johnny and Faz trying to drive it", O'Brien said.

"If I was being critical of any coach it would be the fact that I think Rob (Howley) struggled with the group in terms of his attributes of trying to get something across, whereas Johnny and Owen drove everything in the second week in our attack and probably had a better plan in place".

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