Coach Warren Gatland was delighted that his British and Irish Lions had not reacted to provocation on Saturday and promised the management would not enter any war of words off the pitch in the run-up to the test series against the Wallabies.
The Lions made it five wins in five matches with a comprehensive 47-17 victory over the New South Wales Waratahs and kept their cool despite some questionable tactics from the Australians, particularly targeting the Lions halfbacks.
“The big key in this game was keeping our discipline,” the New Zealander told reporters.
“It would have been easy for someone taken late to lose their head and throw a punch and that be picked up and you be cited… so from that point of view I think our discipline was absolutely fantastic.
We're not going to get involved with accusations against the opposition, we just want to go out there and play some hard, physical rugby
“There was a little shoulders and charges and guys being taken late.
“That’s rugby, people trying to unsettle us a little bit and we have to accept that but it’s how you respond to that sort of niggle and I thought our guys were brilliant and a credit to that Lions jersey because there was some provocation out there and they were magnificent.”
British teams coming to Australia always have to contend with the tag ‘whinging poms’ if they raise any questions about illegal play from the opposition and Gatland said the 2013 party had made it a policy to avoid such accusations.
“One of the things we said when we came out here was we weren’t going to bitch and moan about it,” he said.
“We were just going to take it on the chin and I think we’ve demonstrated that, I thought our discipline was very good tonight.
“We’re not going to get involved with accusations against the opposition, we just want to go out there and play some hard,
The Lions were also subject to a verbal onslaught from Bob Dwyer in the media on Saturday, the former Wallabies coach
labelling them serial cheats.
“I think it’s a sad indictment on the media world that they’ve rolled out Bob Dwyer,” he said of the 72-year-old.
“I think he deserves more respect for what he has achieved in the game to be honest with you.
“I don’t think he knows much about Twitter or Facebook and stuff, so to see the tirade of abuse that he has now been subjected to on websites, I find that sad because he doesn’t deserve that for what he has achieved in the game.”
The first test against the Wallabies takes place in Brisbane next Saturday.