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Dublin: 10 °C Saturday 23 February, 2019
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'I said to the boys if you let this one slip by you'll regret it as I regretted it four years ago'

Rory Best was delighted with the attitude of the Lions this morning.

Best receives a hongi after the match in Hamilton.
Best receives a hongi after the match in Hamilton.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

RORY BEST SAYS he told the Lions players involved in this morning’s victory over the Chiefs to go out and seize their chance in the final warm-up game before the Test series begins.

Warren Gatland’s side recorded their biggest win of the tour so far with a 34-6 victory over the Chiefs in Hamilton as they ran in four tries, including one for Ulster’s Jared Payne.

Although there were some impressive performances, most notably from Liam Williams, Jack Nowell and Iain Henderson, it’s unlikely it will be enough to alter Gatland’s plans for Auckland.

But speaking to Sky Sports afterwards, Best expressed his pride at the way the team performed and hailed their attitude as the tourists strolled to their first midweek win of the campaign.

“We talked about getting bit of a reaction from this group,” the Ireland captain said.

“Although the results have not looked great for us in midweek, we’ve actually put ourselves in position to win games and win games comfortably. We got ourselves in that position here and we drove on.

Rory Best with Nepo Laulala Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

“There’s a good team spirit throughout this squad. You saw that out there — the boys really worked hard for each other. Even at the very end when you’re winning comfortably, it’s easy to concede a try and give up, but we kept marching forward.”

Best added that he told his team-mates not to let the opportunity slip by as he regretted doing just that four years ago when the Lions were beaten by the Brumbies on the Tuesday before the drew battle lines with Australia.

“I know personally and I said it to the boys, if you let this one slip by you’ll regret it. I regretted it for four years and the boys stood up today and I couldn’t be prouder of the boys today as it shows how much it means to us as a group.”

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