Roberts believes series win within grasp
June 21, 2009
Lions centre Jamie Roberts is adamant that they have the ability to come back from 1-0 down to win the test series against the World Champions, South Africa.
Only once before has a Lions team won a series after losing the opening test but after a late Lions surge saw the Springboks clinging on for the victory at the end Roberts believes that they have the ability to go to Pretoria for the second test and cause an upset.
"I am absolutely gutted with that result but there is a massive belief among the boys that we can win next Saturday and the series is far from lost," he said.
"The dressing room was a pretty disappointing place in the end of the game. We will look back at the game over the next couple of days and realise happily we could have won that match.
"Next Saturday can't come soon enough for the boys."
Roberts and his centre partner Brian O'Driscoll caused the Springbok defence endless problems on attack and the Lions did outscore the home side by three tries to two.
They also missed a number of chances as Ugo Monye was twice denied when over the line as was Mike Phillips, both victims of excellent last-ditch tackles by the Springboks. What will be of concern though is the way that Tendai "Beast" Mtawarira dominated his opposite number Phil Vickery as well as the slow start by Ian McGeechan's side but Roberts was happy with the overall performance.
"I thought some of the rugby we played was world-class," said Roberts.
"We really played in their faces and played some fantastic rugby and we are going to have to do that again next Saturday.
"We got over the line three times but did not manage to get the ball down. We will take a lot of pride from that second-half performance because we went in at half-time facing an uphill battle and a cricket score.
"Credit to the boys for coming back and showing what we are worth especially in the last 20 minutes."
The controversial tackling technique will be in full swing in Dublin on Sunday, writes Conor O'Shea, and could be a decisive factor for Ireland
"This team deserves to be recognised as the greatest of all time." Huw Richards looks at Gareth Edwards' final match for Wales
The two leading contenders for the best modern open-side flanker go head to head in Paris on Saturday. John Taylor assesses the tale of the tape