You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Whitelock seeks Lions tips from brother

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 12/06/2017 Daniel Gilhooly

It's not often the Highlanders turn to their arch-rivals to the north for help but conquering the British and Irish Lions calls for special measures.

Highlanders skipper Luke Whitelock planned to have a chat with older brother Sam, who was captain on Saturday when the Crusaders were sunk 12-3 by the impressive tourists.

"I haven't had the phone call yet but I'm sure we'll talk," Luke Whitelock said ahead of the fourth match of the tour on Tuesday.

The one-Test All Black was keen for an insight into how the previously-patchy Lions kept the Crusaders to their lowest score in 160 home matches.

"It was another intensity level from the games they played before," Whitelock said.

"Their defence was outstanding and they really nullified the Crusaders and the way they wanted to play through pressure."

Countering it is the task handed to interim Highlanders head coach Scott McLeod, who ironically normally focuses on defence.

This week his brief is a wider one, while head coach Tony Brown is with the Japan national team.

McLeod joked he had been thrown a hospital pass after watching the Christchurch mauling.

"The Lions completely shut them down, in set piece right through to their phase play and kicking game," he said.

"They are extremely powerful in the game they want to play and very accurate.

"That's the style of play they'll want to take into the Test matches, no doubt."

McLeod said they can't afford to focus too closely on the tourists, who had completely changed their team and who would need to tweak their methods in dry conditions under the roof.

He doesn't want his players going into their shells but instead play the way they did on the way to clinching a franchise-record nine straight wins before losing to the Crusaders earlier this month.

"The Lions can bring whatever they like, I know what we want to bring and how we want to play.

"For some of ours, it will be the biggest game that they play in their lives."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon