British and Irish Lions beaten 23-22 by Highlanders in Dunedin | Touch Latest Local,World,Tech,Entertainment,Health,Sport News
18 February 2018 00:00:00 AM Breaking News

• SPORT

British and Irish Lions beaten 23-22 by Highlanders in Dunedin

Highlanders v British and Irish LionsHighlanders (10) 23Tries: Naholo, Coltman Cons: Sopoaga, Banks Pens: Sopoaga 2, BanksBritish and Irish Lions (10) 22Tries: Joseph, Seymour, Warburton Cons: Biggar 2 Pen: Biggar

Elliot Daly's late attempt at a 57-metre match-winning penalty fell just short as the British and Irish Lions lost narrowly to the Highlanders.

Second-half tries from returning captain Sam Warburton and Tommy Seymour looked to have put the Lions in control, before the hosts responded.

Owen Farrell dragged a Lions penalty wide before Marty Banks landed what proved the decisive kick in Dunedin.

It was a second loss in four games for Warren Gatland's side in New Zealand.

  • Hogg ruled out of tour with facial injury

Waisake Naholo's try had given the hosts a first-half lead, before Jonathan Joseph replied with a converted score.

But Liam Coltman drove over for the Highlanders and Lima Sopoaga added his second penalty after the break to set up the nervy finish.

Gatland made wholesale changes to the side that outfought the Crusaders in a 12-3 win on Saturday, with Warburton looking to prove his fitness after a knee injury.

The Lions coach was forced to replace Courtney Lawes when the lock took a heavy blow to the head in the first half.

The tourists next face the Maori All Blacks on Saturday (08:35 BST) - their fifth of six warm-up matches before the first of three Tests against the All Blacks on 24 June.

Lions improve in attack

The Lions headed into Tuesday's game having scored just two tries in their opening three fixtures in New Zealand, and were looking to establish their attacking credentials.

Despite failing to show the same resilience in closing out the game as they had against the Crusaders three days earlier, the tourists did outscore the hosts by three tries to two.

Centre Joseph accelerated through a gap from a fine Dan Biggar offload to touch down for their first, with Seymour intercepting a hanging cross-field kick from Sopoaga to dart over after the break.

Outscoring the 2015 Super Rugby champions, who have averaged more than four tries a game this season, is no mean feat, but Warburton's score ensured Gatland's men did just that.

Scrum-half Rhys Webb and prop Kyle Sinckler both made threatening breaks, but a touch of inaccuracy and too many dropped passes stopped the Lions adding to their try count.

It was a tale of the kickers in the end, with the normally reliable Farrell pulling his effort wide, and fellow replacement Daly's kick two minutes from time dropped agonisingly short.

Second string aim to stake claim

Sam WarburtonSam Warburtonhttp://ichef.bbci.co.uk/onesport/cps/624/cpsprodpb/C9A0/production/_96461615_warburton_getty.jpg
Sam Warburton missed six weeks with a knee injury

Back-rower Warburton was looking to prove his fitness after missing six weeks at the end of the domestic season with a knee injury.

The 28-year-old admitted before the game there was "every chance" he may not be involved in the first Test if he did not impress.

Warburton and his team-mates faced some ferocious Highlanders attack early on, but the Wales forward looked sharp as he crossed in the second half before being replaced with 12 minutes to go.

Tuesday's game was also an opportunity for those among the Lions' second string to stake their claims for a starting spot.

The versatile Jared Payne was solid in defence, stopping All Blacks winger Naholo in the opening exchanges from full-back - a position that was expected to be filled by Stuart Hogg before the Scot was ruled out of the tour with a facial injury.

Webb also dished out several big hits and was lively with ball in hand, while half-back partner Biggar proved he is a reliable option at 10.

But the concession of late penalties and position to the Highlanders will worry Gatland, with time running out before the first Test.

Analysis - 'More cohesive Lions performance'

Former Lions and England wing Ugo Monye

The Lions' game is starting to look more rounded and all the hard work attack coach Rob Howley has been putting in with the players is starting to pay dividends.

It was an impressive return for Sam Warburton. He played 68 minutes, which he'll be pleased about, and responded well to a great showing from Sean O'Brien on Saturday. He looked busy in defence and capped his performance with a try early in the second half.

It was a more cohesive Lions performance - there were not too many standout players but it was a good team performance.

Frustrations will be the loss, obviously. This tour is all about winning, but ultimately it is a tour that will be defined by the Test series itself.

However, the amount of individual errors in defence is a concern - there were far too many missed tackles, which prevented the type of continuous pressure with line-speed the Lions produced against the Crusaders.

'It's about playing for 80 minutes' - Gatland

Lions coach Warren Gatland: "We gave away a line-out for their try having cleared our lines. We know we need to be better in those moments to make sure we don't compound our errors.

"We always said that coming to New Zealand was going to be tough against the Super Rugby sides. They are the best rugby nation in the world."

Lions captain Sam Warburton: "For one reason or another the penalties got up into double figures. It was a game where it was going to be thrown around a bit more, but our first and second arrivals on the breakdown were a little late.

"We scored a couple of tries, we looked good when we were direct. We are looking forward to the challenge of the New Zealand Maori on Saturday."

Recommended

Loading...

Related Posts

Chelsea 6 - 0 Qarabag FK || All Goals Highlight

Chelsea 6 - 0 Qarabag FK || All Goals Highlight

Read More

Barcelona Beat Real As Messi Sets New Record

Barcelona moved above Real Madrid on Sunday evening after winning 3-2 in a thril

Read More

Shakhtar Donetsk upset Napoli 2-1 in Champions League group game

Shakhtar Donetsk stunned Serie A's Napoli with goals either side of half-time to

Read More

Man Utd beat Burnley 2-0 to keep top-four hope alive

Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial scored on their returns to the side as Manchest

Read More

Anthony Joshua and Klitschko May Have Rematch in Nigeria

Anthony Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko Anthony Joshua’s proposed rematch w

Read More

Chelsea’s Hazard dreams of playing for other clubs

Eden Hazard has told Telefoot that he has “personal ambitions to play fo

Read More

Chelsea 4-2 Tottenham Highlights (Chelsea saw off brave Tottenham to book a place in FA Cup final)

Chelsea took on Tottenham Hotspurs in the semifinal of 2017 FA Cup and it pr

Read More

Euro Paper Talk Juventus agree deal with Arsenal for Wojciech Szczesny

With the season over, clubs around Europe are trying to strengthen their side ah

Read More

Cristiano Ronaldo hails David de Gea but backs Real Madrid No 1 Keylor Navas

Cristiano Ronaldo says David de Gea is a "very good" goalkeeper but has given hi

Read More

James Milner denied as Liverpool thwarted by stubborn Southampton

James Milner had a penalty saved as Liverpool saw their hopes of establishing a

Read More

Also Read

What Amazon's HQ2 Shortlist Tells Us About What The Company Is Looking For

Yesterday, Amazon announced the list of finalists for its proposed sec

Read More

Militancy still affects our operations – WAPCo

The Managing Director of West African Gas Pipelines Company (WAPCo), Mr Walter P

Read More

DHS Secretary Kelly says congressional critics should ‘shut up’ or change laws

Congressional critics of the Department of Homeland Security should “shu

Read More

Tax expert wants Nigerians to demand good governance

Mrs Morenike Babington-Ashaye, a former chairman of Ogun State Internal Revenue

Read More

Akwa Ibom govt commissions 100 hectares of cassava plantation In Agribus

Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has Commissioned 100 hectares improved

Read More

The vote that will determine the fate of Turkey’s democracy

IT IS hardly a fair contest. In the campaign for Turkey’s constitutiona

Read More

How to receive money sent from other countries to Nigeria

Many people, both Nigerians and foreigners outside Nigeria send money 

Read More

WorldFirst launch new multi-currency platform

WorldFirst is launching a new service called World Account, which is a multi-cur

Read More

Great Dane weighing the same as a BABY ELEPHANT and is 7ft long challenges to be UK's biggest dog

A Great Dane who weighs the same size as a baby elephant could be crowned Britai

Read More

NEW Level market

INTRODUCING THE NEW LEVEL ONLINE MARKET.Shop360 has hosted its free level market

Read More