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All Blacks v British & Irish Lions

All Blacks 30-15 British and Irish Lions: First Test


On Saturday, July 1, the second Test of the three-match series down under between the British & Irish Lions and the New Zealand All Black will be played. New Zealand lead 1-0 after last Saturday’s win at Eden Park. The match begins at 8.35 am British Summer Time. Great Lions v All Blacks rugby tickets are for sale now securely online from LiveRugbyTickets.co.uk! While away on the tour, the Lions have endured three and a half weeks of negative comments and criticism, even from the Kiwi media, for not scoring tries or playing beautiful rugby. After the Lions First Test 30-15 loss to New Zealand, Lions supporters and the media have had a lot to say about Warren Gatland’s decision to call up six players, including four Welshmen, midway through the tour. Rugby legend Brian O’Driscoll thinks Gatland made a mistake in doing so.

“Warren Gatland has made a mistake there, personally, because he’s not staying strong with his convictions. He talks about protecting the 23, well there’s a chance that he hasn’t gone and protected the 23,” said O’Driscoll. In the second minute of the First Test, a Jonathan Davies break saw him pass inside to Conor Murray. A great tackle from Aaron Smith stopped him, but Owen Farrell was on hand to send the ball to Elliot Daly, who took aim at the corner, and only a superb tackle from Israel Dagg stopped him from scoring.

Although the Lions got off to a promising start, in the long haul, the All Blacks were just too strong and too quick for the Lions and appeared to easily break over the gain line. The Lions fought to compete for the ball with O’Brien leading the charge but failed to disrupt the All Blacks’ possession. Scrum-half Smith’s speed caught out the Lions defenders - Taulupe Faletau and Alun Wyn Jones - as a result. A lack of focus by the Lions brought three points for the All Blacks from Beauden Barrett. Then Jones was guilty of not rolling away, and the Lions dallied letting Smith ship the ball out to Barrett, who in turn passed to Dagg and his wide pass to hooker Codie Taylor who in turn scooped down to take a superb catch and beat Daly on the outside to score in the corner. The conversion gave the All Blacks a healthy 10-0 lead. The try shocked the Lions into action, and they produced a penalty and the first points for the tourists. Farrell’s three points would immediately be canceled out through with another Barrett penalty when Jamie George was caught offside. Receiving an offload from Anthony Watson, Liam Williams stood up Kieran Read and took off, squeezing through a gap. The Wales full-back charged forward passing left to Daly who passed back inside to Davies. It looked Davies would go all the way, but he was brought down a metre short, and offloaded to O’Brien who crashed over to score one of the greatest tries in British & Irish Lions’ history. That stunning try by O’Brian will be well-remembered by Lions’ fans no matter who wins the series!

Despite trailing 13-8 at the break, the Lions were nearly level four minutes after it. Sonny Bill Williams attempted to offload to George Kruis who fed the full-back. Williams broke left and again linked up with Daly before finding Davies who passed inside to Ben Te’o, who was hauled down. Farrell went for the corner rather than the posts and the Lions came away with nothing after losing control of the ball. In the 56th minute, the Lions scrum lost its focus, and the All Blacks Read picked up the loose ball, flicked it to Smith in a move that ended with Ioane diving over in the corner. Barrett added another penalty when replacement fly-half Johnny Sexton was caught offside. Williams had been warned by Gatland about avoiding another “brain explosion”. However Williams failed a catch from a box-kick by replacement scrum-half TJ Perenara, and that opened the door for Ioane to collect and score his second. At the end, the Lions saved face with a late try from Rhys Webb, the replacement No 9 stepping inside Scott Barret to a touchdown in the final minute.

Teams for British & Irish Lions v New Zealand Test 1

New Zealand

Ben Smith [Aaron Cruden, 27]; Israel Dagg, Ryan Crotty [Anton Lienert-Brown, 33], Sonny Bill Williams, Rieko Ioane; Beauden Barrett, Aaron Smith [TJ Perenara, 55]; Joe Moody [Wyatt Crockett, 54], Codie Taylor [Nathan Harris, 67], Owen Franks [Charlie Faumuina, 54]; Brodie Retallick, Sam Whitelock; Jerome Kaino [Ardie Savea, 46], Sam Cane, Kieran Read [Scott Barrett, 77].

British and Irish Lions

Liam Williams [Leigh Halfpenny, 72]; Anthony Watson, Jonathan Davies, Ben Te’o [Johnny Sexton, 57], Elliot Daly; Owen Farrell, Conor Murray [Rhys Webb, 68]; Mako Vunipola [Jack McGrath, 52], Jamie George [Ken Owens, 68], Tadhg Furlong [Kyle Sinckler, 59]; Alun Wyn Jones [Maro Itoje, 48], George Kruis; Peter O’Mahony [Sam Warburton, 54], Sean O’Brien, Taulupe Faletau.

Test 2 British & Irish Lions v New Zealand All Blacks

The second Test in the series takes place in Wellington next Saturday, July 1. The Lions faced the Hurricanes on Tuesday, and Gatland must now weigh up changes to this side if the Lions are to keep the series alive. The Lions have named their squad for Saturday's second Test in Wellington. In the early hours of the morning, Lions’ coach Warren Gatland announced his Lions 23 man side for the game the tourists must win to keep themselves alive in the series. There will be three Lions changes in the second Test. Ben Te’o is out, Jonathan Sexton is in. Owen Farrell switches to inside center. George Kruis is out, Maro Itoje in. Peter O’Mahony is out, Captain Sam Warburton is in.

British & Irish Lions Squad for Test 2 against New Zealand

Gatland made one of the biggest decisions of his coaching career by pairing Jonathan Sexton and Owen Farrell in midfield in a new approach back line. It appears that the British and Irish Lions will try a high-risk attacking game in their attempt to salvage the series against the All Blacks in the second Test in Wellington on Saturday. Sexton is promoted from the bench to the starting line-up at fly-half, with Owen Farrell switching to inside center. Jonathan Davies is retained at outside center. There are three changes to the starting XV squad, with Sam Warburton returning to lead the side. Maro Itoje, the 22-year-old England and Saracens lock, replaces his national and club team-mate George Kruis to start with Alun Wyn Jones.

Lions Squad to face All Blacks in Test 2

Liam Williams; Anthony Watson, Jonathan Davies, Owen Farrell, Elliot Daly; Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray; Mako Vunipola, Jamie George, Tadhg Furlong, Maro Itoje, Alun Wyn Jones, Sam Warburton (capt), Taulupe Faletau, Sean O’Brien. Reps: Ken Owens, Jack McGrath, Kyle Sinckler, Courtney Lawes, CJ Stander, Rhys Webb, Ben Te’o, Jack Nowell.

New Zealand Squad for Test 2 against Lions

Hansen has named a mostly unchanged squad as a reward for their dominance in the collisions in the first Test, with captain and No 8 Kieran Read set to win his 99th cap. New Zealand’s victorious coach Steve Hansen has already named his side for Test 2 against the Lions, making two changes to the team that earned the win in the first Test. Injured center Ryan Crotty is replaced by Anton Lienert-Brown, while Ben Smith's absence means Israel Dagg plays at full-back and Waisake Naholo will start at 14. Ahead of the British & Lions v New Zealand All Blacks Test 2 to be played on Saturday, New Zealand rugby coach Steve Hansen talked about his squad selection and about the All Blacks definitive win against the Lions in Test 1.

“We’re aware the British and Irish Lions have their backs to the wall and will chuck everything at us to keep themselves alive in the Series. They are a quality side who we respect immensely. In reality, last week’s Test could’ve gone either way had they taken more of their chances. Our job will be to make sure that we shut down their counter-attack better than we did last weekend and at the same time, win the critical moments across the 80 minutes. As always, it’ll start with the battle of the tight five. We’ve worked hard throughout the week in our preparation here in Wellington and are now looking forward to Saturday,” said Hansen. “Whilst it’s disappointing to lose both Ben Smith and Ryan Crotty, it creates an opportunity for others. ‘Izzy’ (Israel Dagg) is a world-class back three player, as is Anton in the midfield, and both Waisake and Ngani are coming into the Test side following outstanding performances against the Lions for their respective Super franchises. Whilst we were happy with the win last weekend, we know that it was just a start, in what is a three-test Series. That means the job is far from done. It’s going to require us to take our game to a higher level. It’s going to be very demanding, physically and mentally, on both sides.”

All Blacks Squad to face Lions in Test 2

Israel Dagg; Waisake Naholo, Anton Lienert-Brown, Sonny Bill Williams, Rieko Ioane; Beauden Barrett, Aaron Smith; Joe Moody, Codie Taylor, Owen Franks; Brodie Retallick, Sam Whitelock; Jerome Kaino, Sam Cane, Kieran Read (capt). Reps: Nathan Harris, Wyatt Crockett, Charlie Faumuina, Scott Barrett, Ardie Savea, TJ Perenara, Aaron Cruden, Ngani Laumape. Note that the Test 2 squad has changes due to injury. Winger Waisake Naholo has been named on the right wing with Israel Dagg moving to fullback. Anton Lienert-Brown comes in at center with new All Black Ngani Laumape being rewarded for his standout performance for the Hurricanes on Tuesday night.

Ireland recently beat the All Blacks on their own in Chicago in an exhibition match. NZ were without Retallick, Whitelock, Romano and started with Kaino at lock. However, the last time Ireland played in NZ they lost 60-0. Most of the top 5 international rugby teams are from the Northern hemisphere. World rugby rankings: 1. New Zealand, 2. England, 3. Ireland, 4. Australia, 5. Scotland. It's just NZ who are in a class of their own. In the future, British and Irish Lions hope to avoid a repeat of the row that has erupted over the late call-up of the ‘Geography Six’.  Warren Gatland, the Lions head coach, said in the wake of the 31-31 draw with the Hurricanes on Tuesday that the criticism over his decision to call in six extra players based solely on their proximity to New Zealand to protect his Test 23 had influenced his decision not to use his bench.

Buy British and Lions Tour rugby tickets now securely online from LiveRugbyTickets.co.uk!

Test 2: New Zealand v British & Irish Lions Tickets British and Irish Lions Tour 1 Jul 2017 Westpac Stadium Wellington, New Zealand
Test 3: New Zealand v British & Irish Lions Tickets British and Irish Lions Tour 8 Jul 2017 Eden Park Auckland, New Zealand