Wounded Lions ready to prove Gatland wrong - Vunipola

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Wounded Lions ready to prove Gatland wrong - Vunipola

Mako Vunipola said the "wounded" British and Irish Lions were "stung" by Warren Gatland's verdict that they were bullied by New Zealand in the first Test and are determined to prove the head coach wrong in Wellington on Saturday.

Gatland felt the Lions lost the physical battle in the first Test at Eden Park, where they were beaten 30-15 by the world champion last weekend.

The New Zealander urged the tourists to "fight fire with fire" when they attempt to keep the series alive in the second of three Tests at the Westpac Stadium.

Vunipola was hurt by Gatland's criticism and the prop will not be holding back when the Lions lock horns with the All Blacks once again in his city of birth.

"That has stung massively, as a person and as a player, because we're all very competitive players," said the 26-year-old.

"It's him laying the gauntlet down. So it's up to us if we take that challenge on or shy away from it. I want to get out there and prove him wrong. I don't know if he meant it like that, but that's how I took it. So I want to prove him wrong.

"We're going into this game wounded, there's pride on the line with Gats saying about that physicality bar. I know emotionally we'll be ready. We have to be. And it's about having that discipline around that too.

"We know they took us on up front and they got the upper hand last weekend, so it's time for us to put in a better account of ourselves."