19 hours ago - 1 Likes
Sinfield: It's not a must-win
- - - - -
We are under no illusion that Saturday's clash against Australia will be tough, but talk of it being a 'must-win' game is not something I agree with.
We can win any two of our remaining three matches and still qualify for the final, so what's the point of putting a load of pressure on ourselves just for this one game?
Great Britain lost the first game of last year's series and bounced back. So why not again?
Everyone in the Lions camp believes we can make a major improvement on last week and put together a display that we can be really proud of.
We were disappointed after the defeat to the Kiwis and have studied the video to see where we went wrong.
But both our morale and self-belief is still good. After all, if we weren't any good we wouldn't have been picked.
And we have all benefited from being together for another week. It has helped us to gel and learn more about each other's games.
It was a great feeling to pull on a Great Britain shirt again for the New Zealand game but playing the Australians is very special for lots of reasons.
Everyone is aware of the sporting rivalry between the two countries but the stakes seem to have risen with the England cricket team's Ashes win.
I have been fortunate to have been part of a Great Britain team that has beaten the Aussies, so I know what a great feeling it is to come out on top against the old enemy.
We were beaten - and beaten heavily - the last time we played them but I don't think the defeat in the 2004 Tri-Nations final matters.
Past results have no bearing on what happens on Saturday, so it is pointless worrying about the events of 12 months ago. We've got to look forward.
It is disappointing that my club-mate Rob Burrow will not be playing against the world champions.
I thought he did very against the Kiwis in his debut Test and I felt comfortable playing alongside him, but it is a 24-man squad full of very good players who all deserve their chance.
Lions coach Brian Noble talks about getting the right mix for the right opposition. I can understand that and know what it feels like to be left out.
But Rob will take it on the chin and come back stronger. That's the only thing you can do. I'm sure he will be involved again in this series and he will be a massive threat.
- - - - -
Thanks to BBC Sport for this column.