Lions 2013: Bob Dwyer defends Lions 'cheat' comments

Lions 2013: Bob Dwyer criticises 'cheating' Lions

Former Australia coach Bob Dwyer has stood by his comments that the British and Irish Lions cheat,external-link but he also praised the play of the tourists.

Dwyer, who coached Australia to the 1991 World Cup title, believes some of the Lions' tactics are illegal.

The 72-year-old criticised the Lions for breaking the laws at scrums, rucks and restarts.

"Deliberately playing outside the laws of the game I would figure is cheating," he told the BBC's Dan Roan.

Lions coach Warren Gatland sought to play down Dwyer's comments when they were raised at a news conference following his side's 47-17 defeat of New South Wales Waratahs.

"I think it is a sad indictment on the media world that they roll out Bob Dwyer," he said.

"I think he deserves more respect than that for what he has achieved in the game."

The Lions play the first Test against Australia on 22 June and Dwyer wants the matches properly officiated.

He added: "I'm absolutely trying to make sure the officials adjudicate the game accurately.

"In fact, if they don't adjudicate the game properly I feel a bit cheated personally. I am trying to stop exactly that."

However, Dwyer has been impressed with how the Lions have played in their warm-up games, with five wins from as many games.

"The important thing about my comments were that there was quite a large positive element to what I said," said Dwyer.

"A lot of the aspects of the Lions play, in fact the fundamental aspects, are of the highest quality.

"Their attacking play, straight running, support at the tackle in numbers and urgency in realignment is first class. That is enabling them to score all the tries that they have been scoring."

He continued: "I think the series is going to be a close run thing. The Lions are a good side. They have got good individuals and good fundamentals to their play, which means they are going to be a handful to beat.

"Australia, on the other hand, have the capacity to play very well and if we play very well I think we are good enough to win. If we don't then I don't think we can win at all."