Nick Easter backs Warren Gatland to have Lions peaking in third Test against New Zealand
By Mathieu Wood
Last Updated: 04/07/17 10:02am
Nick Easter is confident Warren Gatland will have the British & Irish Lions at their peak in Saturday's third and deciding Test against New Zealand at Eden Park, live on Sky Sports 1.
The Lions levelled the three match Test series against the All Blacks on Saturday with an enthralling 24-21 victory in Wellington at the Westpac Stadium.
Easter believes Gatland, who is the Lions head coach for the second successive time, will know how to prepare the side for the decisive encounter in Auckland against the All Blacks.
"This Lions team and Warren Gatland, in particular, knows how to get them to peak at the right times," Easter told Sky Sports News HQ.
"If you look at the previous two [Lions] tours he has been on, they thumped Aussies in the third Test in 2013 and thumped the Springboks, albeit a dead rubber, eight years ago so he knows how to get them primed for the last Test."
Easter accepts that ruthlessness will prove pivotal if the Lions are to win their first series in New Zealand since the victory in 1971.
He added: "You have got to be clinical at the highest level whether it be a World Cup knock-out game or the Lions.
"They're both loaded with world class players, they will both create chances, have their momentum swings and their purple patches, but whoever sticks the points on the board in the most regular manner [will win].
"This will be the greatest Lions series win if they manage to bring it home."
The ex-England forward, who is now part of the coaching set-up at former club Harlequins, believes the Lions will take a great deal of confidence after beating the All Blacks - their first defeat at home in eight years.
"Tremendous result," added Easter. "It's great for the fans who have made the trip out there and clearly the group as well. They were in for a bit of vitriol in the press, especially the head coach and it's exactly what world rugby needs.
"I think we can [win}. A lot of people are talking about with New Zealand how when they're hurt they come back with a strong performance - like when they lost In Chicago to Ireland last year.
"But they will be under intense and enormous pressure like they always are playing at home."