Lions Power To Win Against The Maori All Blacks

The British and Irish Lions gained a confidence-boosting win as their power told against the Maori All Blacks in wet conditions in Rotorua. Leigh Halfpenny - who landed 20 points in all - kicked them into a 15-10 half-time lead, with Liam Messam crossing for the hosts' try.

The Lions forwards dominated the second half and they earned a penalty try when they took the Maori apart at a scrum. Maro Itoje crossed four minutes later as the Lions laid down a Test marker.

Warren Gatland's side came into the game with two wins from four games, following Wednesday's 23-22 defeat by the Highlanders. That made this a must-win game and Gatland went with power in a bid to neutralise the dangerous Maori attack. And the tourists did just that with a combination of smothering defence and precise kicking pinning the Maori back.

A tight first half saw Messam pounce to score an opportunist try after George North had fumbled Nehe Milner-Skudder's grubber kick. But that was a rare foray into the 22 for the Maori and the hosts barely got out of their own half after the break as the visitors' power up front told. They scored in the 10 minutes the Maori were without Tawera Kerr-Barlow after the scrum-half was yellow carded for a dangerous tackle on Halfpenny.

Many of the Lions team that started the game in Rotorua played themselves into contention to start the first Test against the All Blacks on Saturday, 24 June.

Brief Score-

Maori All Blacks v British and Irish Lions
Maori All Blacks (10) 10
Try: Messam Con: McKenzie Pen: McKenzie
British and Irish Lions (15) 32
Tries: Penalty try*, Itoje Con: Halfpenny Pens: Halfpenny 6
*Penalty tries are now an automatic seven points, with no conversion taken

Courtesy: BBC


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