Planet Rugby

The British & Irish Lions


Players over the moon - White

18th June 2013 15:29


Jake White Brumbies coach

Overjoyed: Jake White

Jake White lauded his Brumbies side after their stunning 14-12 win over the British and Irish Lions on Tuesday.

Despite the Brumbies limited Test experience in comparison to their opponents, an early try for centre Tevita Kuridrani and three penalties from full-back Jesse Mogg were enough to hold off a Lions fightback.

The loss was the Lions' first in a warm-up match since their defeat against the New Zealand Maori in 2005, and their first against a provincial side since losing to Northern Transvaal in 1997.

White, who missed out on the chance to coach South Africa against the Lions in 2009, was ecstatic with his side's victory and put it up with the greatest achievements in his career.

"The players are over the moon," said White.

"I don't think they expected it at all. We only had 28 Test caps in our side and were playing against a very experienced team that had 580 caps.

"Rugby and sport can be a funny thing. They're enjoying the moment, as they should."

"I felt we needed to start well," said White. "I knew it wasn't going to be a flashy, four-try, bonus-point game. I'm really proud at the way they stuck at it.

"Defensively I just wanted us to make sure we could have a crack at the breakdown. They've a lot of big men and I felt if we gave them go forward ball they'd run around the corner and ask questions of our defence. We worked hard on that and I think we did quite well.

"Also, we just tried to play field position. All the other Australian side have tried to play a bit flashy and run the ball out of their own half, and got no return. We wanted to play like it was a Test and try and build some pressure.

"This is as big as it gets for me. I really would have liked to coach against the Lions with the Springboks but unfortunately it didn't materialise.

"I won a World Cup and it's obviously a massive achievement, but I'm really honoured to have the opportunity to coach against the Lions with a group of young players, who will now be remembered in history."