Lions tour: 'The Lions aren't Ireland' - Steve Hansen warns Warren Gatland it would be 'a mistake' to dwell on All Blacks' loss to Ireland

Steve Hansen has warned the British and Irish Lions it would be "a mistake" to draw on Ireland's win over the All Blacks.

Warren Gatland, the New Zealand-born Lions coach, has already invoked the memory of Ireland's five-try 40-29 win at Soldier Field in Chicago last November.

Gatland alluded to it last month when announcing his Lions squad to tour New Zealand, saying it was interesting "to see some of these world-class [All Black] players be human, make some mistakes, show some frailties - and that gives you self-belief and confidence".

All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen and adviser Wayne Smith congratulate Ireland's Kiwi coach Joe Schmidt after Ireland's ...
Phil Walter/ Getty Images

All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen and adviser Wayne Smith congratulate Ireland's Kiwi coach Joe Schmidt after Ireland's first test win over New Zealand.

Steve Hansen has told the Lions not to invest any hope in the fact that Ireland beat the All Blacks 40-29 at Soldier Field in Chicago last November, bringing to an end a record run of 18 tests without defeat.

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But Hansen said that result would mean little when the Lions meet the All Blacks in a three-test series in New Zealand.

Kieran Read and Ireland captain Rory Best embrace after Ireland's win in Chicago.
Andrew Cornaga / www.photosport.

Kieran Read and Ireland captain Rory Best embrace after Ireland's win in Chicago.

"If the Lions are going to read too much into that, it would be a mistake," the All Blacks head coach told The Daily Telegraph. "Because they are not Ireland, they are the Lions.

"I'm sure Gatland will come with his own style and way of wanting to play the game and that will not be the same as Joe Schmidt. It [defeat] was inevitable at some point for us.

"We could look at the fact that we had three top locks out and other absences too. But then we would be ignoring the inconvenient fact that we didn't play well. So, there were some good lessons in there for us."

The match stats from the All Blacks v Ireland clash at Soldier Field, Chicago.

Hansen also rejected suggestions the All Blacks were the only team responsible for niggle in their 21-9 return match victory over Ireland in Dublin, two weeks after the Chicago defeat.

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The All Blacks lost Aaron Smith and Malakai Fekitoa to the sin-bin, and The Telegraph claimed many felt Fekitoa's high tackle on Simon Zebo "merited a red card". 

Ireland centre Robbie Henshaw was concussed after a collision with All Black flanker Sam Cane.

Hansen rejected suggestions immediately after the game that the All Blacks had taken an overly physical approach - and he stuck to the same line in his interview with The Daily Telegraph. 

"It was a physical game but we went at Ireland no harder than they went at us," he said.

"They were pretty quick to point out what we did but no one was pointing out the stuff they did.

"In a game of rugby there are -going to be some things that go the way they shouldn't go because it is a dynamic, physical, moving game. Look at the Robbie Henshaw one. Sam Cane goes in to make a tackle and the guy [Henshaw] pirouettes. It's not something that happens -often so you can't anticipate it.

"Malakai's high tackle was a high tackle. Is it our fault the ref saw it [only] as a yellow card? But yet he didn't yellow card [Johnny] Sexton for taking other people's heads off. A lot was made of it all but I think it was just a really good game of test rugby, with two teams hell-bent on playing well and going for the win."

 - Stuff

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