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Best vows to find answers to Lions loss

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 14/06/2017

British & Irish Lions Rory Best during a press conference. © Reuters British & Irish Lions Rory Best during a press conference. Rory Best has promised the British and Irish Lions will launch a wide-ranging inquest into their Highlanders defeat.

Ireland captain Best lamented the Lions' 23-22 loss in Dunedin, where the tourists let a nine-point lead evaporate en route to a second defeat in four games.

The first Test against New Zealand is coming up on June 24, and Best admitted Warren Gatland's side must now sharpen up quickly.

Best acknowledged the poor penalty count and problems at the scrum will be high on the Lions' agenda of issues to solve.

"It's a bit of a hiccup for us. The boys on Saturday laid down a marker (beating the Crusaders 12-3) and we wanted to pick that up," he said.

"At 22-13 we put ourselves in a position to really take a hold of it and that's probably the biggest disappointment, alongside losing the game, that we let it slip.

"We had enough class on the pitch to see that game off and in fact go on and take a real stranglehold of it. We just weren't ruthless enough."

The Highlanders - as with the Crusaders on Saturday - spent much time telling the officials that they boasted the more powerful scrum.

The Lions are unhappy with a growing perception that they have scrum issues, though boss Gatland admitted they deserved to concede the late set-piece penalty that allowed Marty Banks to slot the winning goal.

Ulster stalwart Best found the scrum refereeing "frustrating", but backed the Lions to prove their set-piece power moving forward.

"It was very, very frustrating," the 34-year-old said of the scrum officiating.

"We got penalised rightly so for the one that they kicked but there was another couple where their prop was on their knees and stuff.

"All you are really looking for is a bit of consistency and I am not sure we necessarily got it."

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