Royal XV v British & Irish Lions
Edwards and O'Connell unhappy with Lions
May 30, 2009
Paul O'Connell, Lions captain, leads out his side for the match between Royal XV v British & Irish Lions, Royal Bakofeng Stadium, Rustenburg, South Africa, May 30, 2009
Lions skipper Paul O'Connell didn't enjoy his first game on tour © Getty Images

British & Irish Lions defence coach Shaun Edwards admitted that there was plenty for the tourists to work on after they limped past a Royal XV in their opening tour match in Rustenberg. Only a virtuoso performance from fullback Lee Byrne and some powerful running from centre Jamie Roberts caught the eye from the Lions, who were outfought at the breakdown.

"We were a little bit shocked in the first half that they (Royal XV) went into such a commanding lead," Edwards told Sky Sports 1. "We've got a few areas to work on over next few weeks but its all building up to the Test matches and in the end it's the Test matches that really matter.

"In some cases, you've got lads playing their first ever game for the Lions and nerves do come into that - so next time we'll have no excuse."

Lions skipper Paul O'Connell also was quick to admit that his side had disappointed - describing their performance as a "nightmare".

"I think it's a big wake-up call for us" O'Connell told Sky Sports 1. "We've been working hard on getting used to playing with each other but you have to remember what you need to bring to a rugby match as well - the physicality, the attention to detail.

"That's hard when you're just coming together as a team but we're trying to get beyond that now and focus and improve on Wednesday (against the Golden Lions). We've all had bad games, we've all gone out there and had nightmares, but we've just got to put it behind us. We've got a good bunch of lads here and I think the boys will be fine."


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