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News article – Style D 2158

4th July 2005 By Munster Rugby

News article – Style D 2158

Having watched the Second Test defeat from the sidelines, injured Lions captain Brian O Driscoll conceded that the 11-match trip will be remembered as “a lost opportunity”

O Driscoll Reflects on lost opportunity

Having watched a rampant New Zealand claim the Test series on Saturday with a 48-18 win in Wellington from the sidelines, injured Lions captain Brian O Driscoll conceded that the 11-match trip will be remembered for a lost Test series and “a lost opportunity”

The Irish captain, who is due to have surgery next week on his dislocated shoulder said “It is a lost opportunity, because whenever you get picked for the Lions, you are expected to go down and win Test series, whether it is against New Zealand, Australia or South Africa,”.

“Tours are always judged on their success, and this one will go down as a disappointment, but I have felt that on my previous (Lions) experience four years ago, the enjoyment factor of this tour has been far more significant than then.

But it is all about winning in the end, and you just have to accept it. “I don’t think we probably clicked as we would have anticipated, which is disappointing and frustrating.

“My over-riding disappointment is not getting the opportunity to play more than 45 seconds in the Test series, which is what you go on Lions tours for, to play the Test matches, and not to get the opportunity is a disappointment, whether you win or lose.”

O’ Driscoll also paid tribute to the All Blacks, who will complete a first Test series whitewash of the Lions by any team for 22 years if they win Saturday’s Auckland finale.

“When you look at the clinical way in which the All Blacks played, I don’t think any side in the world playing well would have been able to live with them,” he added.

“Comparing it to (the Lions tour) four years ago, they are certainly a more difficult side to beat than Australia were.”

Gareth Thomas, O’ Driscoll’s successor as skipper, insists there is unfinished business next weekend, and he is adamant his players’ thoughts are not on the flight home, declaring: “We are going to approach next Saturday as if it was a Test match to win the series.

“At the end of the day, we can’t just go out there because the series has been lost, put on a Lions jersey and just go through the 80 minutes because the series is over.

“There is so much history and so much behind the Lions jersey. This is the pinnacle of our careers, and for us to just go out and accept another loss because we can’t win the series would be a disgrace to the jersey.”

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