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Maori All Blacks 10 British & Irish Lions 32

British & Irish Lions v Maori All Blacks 2017

The British & Irish Lions banished memories of a painful loss to the Maori All Blacks twelve years ago by comprehensively winning the 2017 encounter 10-32 in Rotorua.

The match was seen as a warm up for next weeks first test against the All Blacks, and this was a solid performance that will give the Lions confidence ahead of next Saturday.

The performance was notable for a solid forwards set piece platform and excellent defensive display.  The Maori by contrast will disappointed with their performance in failing to deal with the high balls in the back field and their lack of discipline in key areas.

The crucial difference was made in the second half with the Lions scoring a crucial Penalty Try asserting their dominance in the scrum.  They then followed that up with a further forwards score from England lock Maro Itoje in the 55th minute after another series of pressure on the Maori try line.

There were outstanding performances across the field with many Lions looking to cement their places in next weeks test team.  In the forwards, captain Peter O’Mahony led from the front along with excellent performances from both locks George Kruis and Itoje.  In the back line Leigh Halfpenny surely secured his place at full back with youngster Ben Te’o giving the coaching team something to think about at centre.

Head Coach Warren Gatland said “If you look at territory and possession we dominated things. we played some good rugby and managed the game really well. we squeezed the life out of them”

“There was some outstanding goal kicking from Leigh Halfpenny and Ben Te’o is getting better and better. Up front the scrum was good and line-out was excellent.”

“We’re really pleased with our performance.  Hopefully that sets us up nicely for the first test next week and it’s going to be a cracking series.”

The British & Irish Lions take on New Zealand in the first test next Saturday at Eden Park in Auckland.

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