Published: Wed, June 14, 2017
Science | By Cecil Little

Lions Tamed By Highlanders In Classic Encounter

British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland on whether the scrum had cost the Lions the match: "It has".

The British & Irish Lions tour isn't one that allows much time for reflection. That no doubt played its part - Dan Cole was furious with one scrum penalty against the Lions - and so Rowntree's anger will be tempered by the fact two of the Tests will be refereed by Frenchmen.

But the Lions rallied and led 22-13 when captain Sam Warburton capped a strong comeback from injury with a try in 53rd minute, wading through tackles from a ruck 10 meters out.

"We scored more tries than we have done and when we were direct we looked pretty good".

Their defence disintegrated to give Liam Coltman a pushover try, then a needless scrum infringement gifted Marty Banks a penalty to put the Highlanders ahead.

The Crusaders made the scrum a big talking point after the Lions defeated them 12-3 on Saturday, insisting the tourists struggled at the set-piece.

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"That gave them way too much territory and momentum and they scored off that eventually".

The Lions' next tour match is against the Maori All Blacks in Rotorua on Saturday, with the first Test in Auckland a week later.

"We just needed to take that out of them early in the game".

"I don't know what the outcome will be on the weekend, but it was a big improvement from him, and the more game time he plays the better he's going to be". They like to do things differently down here, and the presentation of the ceremonial claymore sword to tour skipper Sam Warburton was a nice touch. They more than held their own, including earning a match-winning penalty against their worldwide opposition which gave them the final one-point margin.

"Obviously we want to put out an experienced team and the All Blacks is not a team you experiment with, so we are wanting to put on a performance that will make our nation and most importantly ourselves proud", Ieremia said. "We'll make a decision after tonight's game".

The Lions produced a brilliant try to Joseph in which their backs at last showed finishing skill.

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The failure to capitalise on their try-scoring opportunities has been the Lions' greatest shortcoming so far on tour, but Warburton, Tommy Seymour and Jonathan Joseph crossed against the Highlanders.

HIGHLANDERS: R Buckman; W Naholo, M Fekitoa (M Banks, 11-16), T Walden, T Li (P Osborne, 68); L Sopoaga (M Banks, 55), K Hammington (J Renton, 76); D Leinert-Brown (A Seiuli, 59), L Coltman (G Pleasants-Tate, 68), S Tokolahi (S Halanukonuka, 68); A Ainley (J Dickson, 55), J Hemopo; G Evans, D Hunt (J Lentjes, 59), L Whitelock - captain.

Replacement Owen Farrell missed a routine shot at goal and Elliot Daly failed with a long-range effort, as the Highlanders joined the Blues in beating the Lions.

"That's going to be the difference between winning and losing the Test match". "We watched how the Lions have been playing, they just keep coming wave after wave and the boys were just outstanding getting up and tackling and throwing their bodies into it".

The Lions now have concerns over lock Courtney Lawes, who went off in the first half with head knock.

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