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Gatland: 'I won't be taking to social media to express my views'

By Kim Ekin

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British & Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland has said he would not be taking any complaints to social media following the Lions’ second Test loss to the Springboks in Cape Town.

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South Africa backs Makazole Mapimpi and Lukhanyo Am have scored second-half tries as the Springboks beat the British & Irish Lions 27-9 to level the series.

Handre Pollard added five penalties and a conversion for a 17-point contribution on Saturday while the Lions’ points all came off the boot of Dan Biggar in a niggly and ill-tempered contest that again was one for the purists rather than the enthusiast.

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The result sets up a decider next Saturday after the Lions had won a similarly attritional first Test 22-17.

The Lions were 9-6 up at halftime but the Springboks bounced back with a dominant second-half performance that turned the tide.

Lions coach Gatland said on Sky Sports immediately after the game: “We are disappointed with that second half, but congratulations to South Africa.

“We have another game next week, it is like a cup final so we have to get ourselves up for that.

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“They put a lot of emotion into that game today, we have an opportunity next week, it is 1-1, so it is pretty exciting really.”

“We just did not get any return from any scraps, and they tended to get the benefits out of that.

“Their set-piece was pretty good, they scrummaged very well, but there is no excuses from our point of view with regards to that.”

Gatland refused to pour any more fuel on the row over match officials.

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“We will go back and look at it, if there is any issues in terms of things we will go through the right channels,” he said.

“I won’t be taking to social media to express my views, but we will spend the next couple of days doing the review then hopefully catch up with the referees at some stage next week if there are any concerns which we have.”

Gatland accepts his squad must now deal with a different type of pressure.

“It is going to be a challenge for us now, there is no doubt,” he said on Sky Sports. “At half-time we were very happy with the way the game was going, then we were slow in the second half, very stop-start and could not get any momentum.

“They did a good job slowing that down and we gave away some soft penalties as well, so need to address that with the discipline. We have an opportunity to go back and train hard, making sure we stay together and it is a cup final for them next week.”

Gatland added: “The players have to quickly put the disappointment behind them.

“They have worked incredibly hard over the past seven weeks or so, it is about making sure we don’t drop our heads and making sure we are positive in the way we prepare.

“We will look at the tape, criticise some performances and see if we need to bring a few fresh faces in. There is a lot of competition in the squad if we do make changes.”

additional reporting PA/AAP

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Gatland: 'I won't be taking to social media to express my views'

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