New Zealand centre Shontayne Hape believes the Kiwis must quell the Great Britain threat at halfback if they are to square the thee-test series at Hull on Sunday (NZ time).
Diminutive number seven Rob Burrow was the man-of-the-match as the Lions edged a scrappy 20-14 first test victory at Huddersfield last weekend and Hape has called on his men to tighten up in this area for the second series meeting.
"Our defence needs to be a lot stronger around the ruck," he explained. "The likes of Burrow and fellow halfback Leon Pryce caused havoc around the ruck. Our guys need to be a bit more alert in this area but many of them were playing against them (the British players) for the first time and now they will now be more prepared."
Hape was one of the few bright spots in a disappointing first test performance scoring two tries, but rather than dwell on the negatives he was prepared to look at the positives.
The Bradford Bulls back believes an inexperienced Kiwi squad made big strides after their 58-0 mauling by Australia in Wellington last month and he is hopeful they can rise to the challenge in Hull.
"Overall our performance was good (at Huddersfield) and a big improvement from the Australia game," insisted Hape. "Maybe a few crucial moments cost us like Gareth Raynor scoring one of those freakish tries. But those are the kind of things that our full back Sam Perrett can learn from. Otherwise I thought Sam had a fantastic game on his debut."
Hape also had high praise for his Bradford Bulls teammate Sam Burgess, who scored a try on his Great Britain debut and made a big impact with a number of crunching hits on the opposition - some legal and some illegal.
Burgess controversially escaped further action after a high tackle in the first test on Fuifui Moimoi but although Hape would not be drawn on this matter he warned his fellow Kiwis: "Sam's an aggressive player and one of the best young talents in the British game. He is only 18 but in the next four or five years he can be a world beater. He's got good lines of running, he's big, carries the ball with vigour, he has an off load and can also kick a ball. He looks like a back rower or a second rower and yet he plays at prop. He may be 18 but he already looks like he's 25."
Hape knows, however, New Zealand must improve to make an impact in the tour and has banished any talk of a series victory.
"We have to concentrate on this week's game," said Hape. "We can play better than the first match but I'm sure Great Britain also think they can play better after last week's hit out."