Owen Farrell a doubt for first Lions Test after suffering quad injury

Solenn Plantier
Июня 15, 2017

Elliot Daly nearly gave the Lions victory with a long-range penalty, but his effort fell agonisingly short and Warren Gatland's men were forced to settle for their second defeat of the tour.

"I see it as I'm tour captain, and if I've made the Test then that would be a bonus for me, but I've said there's three Tests to get selected for so it's not the be-all and end-all with the first one".

Peter O'Mahony will captain the British & Irish Lions against the Maori All Blacks Rotorua International Stadium on Saturday, one of seven Irish players in the matchday squad.

"The penalty count was probably a little heavy", said the Lions' New Zealand-born head coach.

"It's close to their test team, I think", Gatland said. Frenchman Mathieu Raynal officiated the Crusaders game, and the Lions got a few free kicks and penalties.

Gatland has changed the entire starting 15 that lined up against the Highlanders, continuing the policy of sweeping rotation that he has used throughout the tour. New Zealand captain Kieran Read will miss the Samoa match as he continues his recovery from a broken thumb and fullback Ben Smith will lead the team for the first time.

The time for tinkering with the British and Irish Lions side is over as the tourists head to Rotorua for what many view as an unofficial fourth test against the Maori All Blacks on Saturday.

Lima Sopoaga's penalty put the hosts ahead 3-0, before Rhys Webb knocked on stretching for a try.

The All Blacks and Lions also have in common a strong sense of respect for their opponents this weekend.

"I was on Facebook the other day and I saw an old clip from way back when Fiji played the Lions".

Certainly the victory, in and of itself a paean to the hard work the players are putting in on being tough to break down, was deserved, but deep down both management and coaches know that a watertight defence will only work so far against the world champions, and their present inability to threaten the opposition's defence from open play will not keep Steve Hansen awake at night.

Instead of taking control of the game, the Lions were immediately on the back foot and the Highlanders took full advantage. "Samoa is about to kick off the qualifying stage of their Rugby World Cup campaign so this will make them even more risky".

Naholo looked back to his best form after recent injuries. If we do that, then I'm pretty confident we have a scrum that can come out on top.

"Referees will look at each prop to see how he's been going in the last couple of games, how he's been scrummaging and whatnot".

"They keep coming wave after wave and the boys were just outstanding getting up tackling and throwing their bodies into it". "We have to be smart".

So the 52-cap England star will now launch an immediate bid to ease past this setback to contest selection for the Eden Park showdown.

Wales will be without regular starters who are touring with the Lions and will use Friday's match to give a new generation of talent some test experience.

"The challenge for them is to repeat it".

"We feel Damian will suit the game plan that we want to play, from the number 10 position", Cooper said. You have to put things into context, they literally arrived in the country and had a game nearly straight away.

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