British & Irish Lions limp to nervy 13-7 win over NZ Provincial Barbarians | Touch Latest Local,World,Tech,Entertainment,Health,Sport News
22 February 2018 00:00:00 AM Breaking News

• SPORT

British & Irish Lions limp to nervy 13-7 win over NZ Provincial Barbarians

Anthony Watson's second-half try ensured the British and Irish Lions limped to a 13-7 win over the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians in Whangerei.

The tourists were not at the races as they squandered five try-scoring opportunities in the first half, with Sam Anderson-Heather crossing for the Barbarians on 23 minutes to give them a 7-3 half-time lead.

It required the introduction of Owen Farrell at fly-half to change the momentum. The Saracen had only been on the pitch for four minutes when he first put Ross Moriarty through a gap and then provided the scoring pass for Watson's 52nd-minute try.

Lions coach Warren Gatland reflects on their tight win over the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians

Lions coach Warren Gatland reflects on their tight win over the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians

But that was as good as it got for the Lions as they failed to build on Watson's score. Farrell missed a kick at goal that would have put two scores between the teams and they endured some nervy moments late on as the Barbarians pressed for a late winner.

The standout fly-half on show was Bryn Gatland, the son of Lions coach Warren. He kept the Lions guessing with a combination of crossfield kicks and up-and-unders.

Anthony Watson crosses for the decisive try
Anthony Watson crosses for the decisive try

The Barbarians' half-time lead could have been more substantial, with Taulupe Faletau scrambling back to make a try-saving tackle on Kaveinga Finau after Luteru Laulala butchered a three-on-one overlap.

The Lions were more direct in the second half, Greig Laidlaw and Farrell putting boot to ball after they played for territory, but it resulted in just one try and there is much work to be done ahead of Wednesday's clash with the Blues.

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