Wellington - Conor Murray knows better than most what an All Black
backlash looks like and the British and Irish Lions scrumhalf insists he and
his team-mates are ready for a titanic series decider in Auckland this weekend.
Murray crossed for a second-half try as Warren Gatland’s
side came storming back against the 14-men All Blacks to claim an historic
victory in Wellington and level the Test series at 1-1 heading back to
Murray is making a habit of producing against New Zealand,
the Munsterman also crossed for a try last November when Ireland claimed their
first ever win over them in 111 years of trying.
That makes him the only ever rugby player in northern
hemisphere rugby to score four tries against the All Blacks but last November
the world champions got their revenge.
Steve Hansen’s side secured a 21-9 victory in the Aviva
Stadium a fortnight after the Chicago shock and Murray knows the series decider
at Eden Park this weekend will be enormous.
“They are going to be hurting, aren’t they?” Murray told the
British and Irish Lions' official website.
“They will have a response, they will be hurting and they
are at home in Eden Park. It’s going to be a massive challenge.
“We will enjoy this and appreciate what we’ve done, but
everyone is looking forward to beginning work and getting as well prepared for
next week in trying to take an opportunity. It’s a great place to be in. It
will make the last week of the tour a little easier.? It could have been a long
week next week.
“Not many people get to be in this position. We are going to
do our best to take it.”
First up the players are enjoying a well-earned couple of
days off in Queenstown in the south island to rest tired minds and bodies.
But soon they will be back in Auckland with their sights set
on Eden Park and a shot at sporting immortality.
“Mentally, we are going to be thinking about this game all
week, but the next few days are about rest and recovery,” added Murray.
“It’s nice to think it will be a bit quieter down in
Queenstown, to get away from the bubble of it and then rev up and go for it.
“To beat the All Blacks, having been in a difficult position
for most of the game, just showed how much we cared and how much we were
willing to work for each other. We are going to need it again ?next week and be
a lot more clinical.”