Moment of magic gives Lions another lesson on New Zealand tour

Solenn Plantier
Juin 19, 2017

The first two games we have been a bit soft in that area and we've got to be hard on ourselves as players and coaches to tighten up on that.

Charlie Faumuina has warned the British & Irish Lions that the All Blacks are an even meaner animal courtesy of their shock defeat to Ireland in Chicago.

"I don't think there's any comparison between Super Rugby and Test rugby".

"So it's going to be one of the toughest calls on the tour, getting the balance and the combination right".

The visitors delivered an unconvincing win against the semi-professional Provincial Barbarians in their opening game and on Wednesday lost to the Blues, New Zealand's worst-performing Super Rugby side this season.

While the Lions had a footing in the match through their scrum, they made few attempts to play attacking rugby and were vulnerable to the counter-attacking style of the Blues.

To combat the All Blacks-laden pack of the Crusaders, with six of the eight players having test experience, Gatland has given props Tadhg Furlong and Mako Vunipola their first starts of the tour.

British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland speaking to Sky Sports: "It felt like there were lots of positives from today, our set-pieces were good but we will need to impress on the team the need to focus on the penalty concession".

Alun Wyn Jones will captain the team in a much changed line-up.

"I know everyone is saying and doing the same thing. That's why the challenge for us is coming together as quickly as we possibly can".

"Competition is very strong but you've got to take your opportunities, work to what the coaches want and not go outside the box".

He expected another intense match, saying playing New Zealand's Super Rugby sides was "great preparation" for the Test series. We picked him because he has got more to his game than that with his offloading ability.

George Kruis lines up with Jones in the second row, with O'Brien, Peter O'Mahony and Taulupe Faletau in the back row. In that short cameo Farrell appeared to be more polished than Ireland's Jonathan Sexton and Wales' Dan Biggar who have started in the first two games.

Ben Te'o partners Davies in midfield, while Liam Williams and Stuart Hogg join North in the back three.

But Wasps duo James Haskell and Elliot Daly, Exeter Chief Jack Nowell, Northampton Saints' Courtney Lawes and Maro Itoje of Saracens all impressed wearing the famous red jersey for the first time in the starting XV.

Like last week, the Test selection managed just a single try in 80 minutes - via CJ Stander from a driving maul - and then pushed their noses in front through the unerring boot of Welsh fullback Leigh Halfpenny with 10 minutes remaining.

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