Published: Чт, Июня 08, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Auckland give British Lions a case of the Blues

Auckland give British Lions a case of the Blues

"This is an experienced team with nine of the starting 15 players having featured in 2013".

Warren Gatland's men had a slow start to the much-anticipated tour of New Zealand with a stuttering 13-7 win over the Provincial Barbarians on Saturday and a strong Blues side made it even worse on Wednesday with a deserved victory.

Lions coach Warren Gatland remained upbeat after the loss.

"We are facing some of the best rugby players in the world but we have some of the world's best in this team too".

"This is a huge and exciting challenge for us", said Robertson.

While the Lions demonstrated a stiff defence against the Blues at Eden Park on Wednesday, they must capitalise on their scoring opportunities, create more with the ball in hand, and not rely exclusively on their kicking game to create pressure.

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"That try on half-time was pretty unlucky".

"We think Sonny Bill Williams is going to start (for the All Blacks)".

Rather than criticise the visitors after Wednesday's defeat to the Blues - New Zealand's weakest Super Rugby team - Hansen called them "the best Lions side to come here".

Webb added another three points at the 70 minute mark to give the Lions the lead 16-15 after the Blues scrum was again penalised.

Prior to kick-off, there was a minute's silence to honour victims of the London terror attacks, then the Blues performed a haka specially commissioned for the occasion.

Not quite panic stations but the Lions need to get this tour back on track in Canterbury.

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Itoje and Lawes were their usual imposing selves in the second row, and were a nuisance both at the breakdown and at the lineout - making 25 tackles between them in the engine room as well as producing several crucial turnovers.

The tourists were patient in response and, after twice turning down a kickable penalties in favour of lineouts in the corner, were rewarded when Munster's CJ Stander drove over.

The match pivoted in favour of the Blues when All Blacks star Williams scored a try in a goalline scramble on the tick of halftime, sending the Blues to the break with a 12-10 advantage.

Perofeta's penalty goal attempt struck the post and Williams was quickest to react as Lions winger Jack Nowell knocked the ball behind the try-line under pressure.

The former rugby league global darted between two defenders to get a hand on the ball first under the posts.

The Blues began to gain momentum and stretch the Lions' defence, with the tourists' task made more hard when replacement centre Liam Williams was sin-binned for risky play.

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But trouble for the Lions came when replacement wing Liam Williams twice, within moments, infringed when challenging Matt Duffie in the air and bringing him down by wrapping his arm around him.

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