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Rugby Union: Saracens hooker Jamie George urges British & Irish Lions to keep calm in third Test against New Zealand

PUBLISHED: 17:00 05 July 2017

Saracens hooker Jamie George attacks for the British & Irish Lions during their second Test win against the All Blacks in Wellington (pic David Davies/PA)

Saracens hooker Jamie George attacks for the British & Irish Lions during their second Test win against the All Blacks in Wellington (pic David Davies/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Sarries forward says Lions must play game, not the occasion against the All Blacks on Saturday

Saracens prop Mako Vunipola is sent to the sin bin for the British & Irish Lions against New Zealand (pic: David Davies/PA)Saracens prop Mako Vunipola is sent to the sin bin for the British & Irish Lions against New Zealand (pic: David Davies/PA)

Saracens hooker Jamie George says the British & Irish Lions must be in control of their emotions if they are to beat New Zealand in the crucial third Test in Auckland.

George was a key man for the Lions last weekend as the tourists won the second Test 24-21 in Wellington to take the series to a decider at Eden Park this Saturday.

The dymanic hooker went on a rampaging break in the second half that ultimately led to a try for Ireland’s Conor Murray which Owen Farrell converted to make it 21-21, before the Saracens fly half kicked the winning penalty in the closing moments.

And having drawn level in the series, George has urged the Lions to play the match, not the occasion, against the All Blacks this weekend.

“I think we’re fully aware of what’s at stake. We knew the importance of what Saturday was to get ourselves back level,” said the 26-year-old.

“I think it’s going to be a fantastic occasion on Saturday and one again that we’ll never forget. We can’t get carried away with the emotional side of the game.

“We’ve got to make sure that physically we are on it, mentally we are on it, we know our stuff and we can go into the game with clear heads and really attack it.”

Even in victory, though, the Lions were let down by a high penalty count, with Sarries prop Mako Vunipola a repeat offender which ultimately led to a spell in the sin bin.

New Zealand also lacked discipline last weekend, spending 55 minutes down to 14 men after Sonny Bill Williams was sent off for a dangerous tackle.

With the All Blacks likely to spend much of the third Test with a full compliment of player, George knows the Lions cannot be as ill-disciplined in Auckland.

But he is confident that the manner of last weekend’s success will give the tourists all the confidence they need ahead of the crucial clash on Saturday.

“You need to look at the manner in which we did it. We made it very difficult at times with our discipline,” he added.

“I don’t think many teams can say they came back from 18-9 down in those conditions to win the game so we’re really happy with that.

“The thing that I’ve learnt on this tour is that it’s amazing how much influence you have on other people with your actions and your words.

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