The Runner Sports

British And Irish Lions Look Ahead After Big Win

Following win over Crusaders, British and Irish Lions look to continue momentum against Highlanders

Saturday’s match against the Crusaders was a great defensive effort against the best team in Super Rugby, the Crusaders. The British and Irish Lions proved you do not have to score many points if the defense is completely smothering. The Crusaders have not been held without a try in over two years. While the scrum was questionable at points, they overall performed well. The set piece, in general, was a success for the Lions. The defensive work was more akin to the Saracens than any other team in the world.

The Lions look to continue this amazing work against the Highlanders on Tuesday. The Highlanders are currently 4th in the New Zealand conference, but have more points than any non-New Zealand team except the Golden Lions in South Africa. Highlanders, like most New Zealand teams, are very high scoring, averaging four tries per match. Defensively the Highlanders are also solid completing 87% of their tackles, top in the New Zealand bracket.

The Highlander scrum will be a slight step up from the Crusaders, having lost only three scrums all season. The lineout, however, is where the Lions will be able to take advantage. Courtney Lawes will have a great time competing with the Highlanders who have only an 88% success rate at the lineout. There will be a good shot for the Lions by pinning the Highlanders deep in their end then stealing a defending lineout.

Conor Murray says the lack of tries by the Lions is not yet a concern

There has been ample concern by Lions fans with the low try count, being just two scored in three matches so far on the tour. Many concerns are that going against the all powerful All Blacks, less than 20 points per match will not be enough. Murray believes that the tries will come, the important thing is that the Lions are making opportunities.

“It’s something we’ll look to improve on, but the fact that we are making line-breaks and busting teams and we counter-attacked well off a few kick receives is really pleasing and then it’s probably the easier stuff – easier than making the line-breaks is finishing them off,” Murray said. “If we weren’t making line-breaks, you’d be more worried. But it is something that is progressing.” Independent

Stuart Hogg to find out the fate of his Lions tour on Monday

Stuart Hogg was having a much-improved game over the tour opener. Unfortunately, his match only lasted 20 minutes before taking an elbow to the eye from teammate Conor Murray while chasing a high ball.

Hogg subsequently failed an HIA and was forced to leave the game for good. Hogg will be seeing a specialist on Monday to see if his injury will allow him to return or if his tour is over prematurely.

In better news, Dan Biggar returns to the starting lineup after failing an HIA in the Blues match last week. He will don the number 10 jersey and will be essential in the currently dominant kicking game. It will be important if the Lions’ attack continues to have difficulties finishing drives as Lima Sopoaga has a better boot than the Lions faced last weekend.

Starting Lineups

British and Irish Lions

  1. Joe Marler
  2. Rory Best
  3. Kyle Sinckler
  4. Courtney Lawes
  5. Iain Henderson
  6. James Haskell
  7. Sam Warburton
  8. C J Stander
  9. Rhys Webb
  10. Dan Biggar
  11. Tommy Seymour
  12. Robbie Henshaw
  13. Jonathan Joseph
  14. Jack Nowell
  15. Jared Payne
  • Ken Owens
  • Jack McGrath
  • Dan Cole
  • Alun-Wyn Jones
  • Justin Tipuric
  • Greig Laidlaw
  • Owen Farrell
  • Elliot Daly

Highlanders

  1. Daniel Lienert-Brown
  2. Liam Coltman
  3. Siate Tokolahi
  4. Alex Ainley
  5. Jackson Hemopo
  6. Gareth Evans
  7. Dillon Hunt
  8. Luke Whitelock
  9. Kayne Hammington
  10. Lima Sopoaga
  11. Tevita Li
  12. Teihorangi Walden
  13. Malakai Fekitoa
  14. Waisake Naholo
  15. Richard Buckman
  • Greg Pleasants-Tate
  • AKi Seiuli
  • Siua Halanukonuka
  • Josh Dickson
  • James Lentjes
  • Josh Renton
  • Marty Banks
  • Patrick Osborne

 

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David Bradham

Active duty Navy, have a true passion for Rugby.
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