Lions’ O’Brien could miss third Test after being cited for dangerous play

Sean O'Brien

Irishman Sean O’Brien was “outstanding” in the second Test, according to assistant coach Graham Rowntree

British and Irish Lions flanker Sean O’Brien has been cited for an incident of dangerous play during the second Test victory over the All Blacks.

O’Brien is alleged to have struck New Zealand wing Waisake Noholo during the second half in Wellington on Saturday.

He faces a hearing at 09:00 BST on Sunday and, if found guilty, would miss next weekend’s third Test in Auckland.

O’Brien was influential as the Lions came from behind to win 24-21 and square the series.

Lions assistant coach Graham Rowntree said the Leinster forward was “outstanding” at the Westpac Stadium.

“He’s the barometer of our energy and aggression in the game,” said Rowntree. “His ball pressure, his tackling, his carrying – he’s been outstanding.

“We’ve got a class group back rowers and I’d have no qualms about anyone else stepping up.”

Discipline will ‘kill’ Lions

Rowntree also warned players are at risk of losing their places in the side because of ill discipline.

The Lions conceded 13 penalties in Wellington – 10 of which were kickable – and it was only Beauden Barrett’s profligacy from the tee that kept the tourists alive.

“We have got to sort it out because it is going to kill us,” added Rowntree.

“We have to sit them down and show them every day. We can’t be doing this. We have to keep reiterating that point to the players.

“We can’t lose a Test series on the back of some stupid penalties. That would be unacceptable. How do you live with that for the rest of your life?”

Prop Mako Vunipola received a yellow card in the second half as the Lions lost their discipline and composure, and Rowntree says players will be dropped by coach Warren Gatland if necessary.

“If that is what it takes. Gats has shown he is not afraid of doing things like that,” said Rowntree.

“But it is not as if it is the same offenders. We will be very frank and objective with the lads. The pictures are undeniable. That will be a big theme of the week.”

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