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Principale » Marty Banks gives Highlanders thrilling win over British and Irish Lions

Marty Banks gives Highlanders thrilling win over British and Irish Lions

15 Juin 2017

The British and Irish Lions tighthead prop was a mixture of grumpy, annoyed and exasperated when he reflected on the performance of Australian referee Angus Gardner after the Highlanders beat his side 23-22 in Dunedin on Tuesday night.

The Dunedin-based Highlanders, lacking nine frontline players, set out to play the match at a frenzied pace and the Lions resistance to that style was fully tested.

"That gave them way too much territory and momentum and they scored off that eventually".

Gatland denied there is a gulf in quality developing between two distinct Lions teams, believing the team to face the Highlanders endured a more taxing build-up than the Crusaders conquerors.

"Whatever level you play at, the penalty count realistically you need to be below 10 to have a good chance of winning the game and we didn't get that", Best said.

The potent backline also includes fly-half Damian McKenzie, Charlie Ngatai and Reiko Ioane, who scored against the Lions for the Blues and has been named in the New Zealand squad for the Test matches.

He told Sky Sports: "We gave away a line-out for their try after having cleared our lines". I thought Conor Murray and Owen Farrell were sublime in the game and I know it's hard to call it sublime when they're kicking a huge amount of ball but they were doing it with such unerring accuracy.

Keith Wood feels the British and Irish Lions have shown a valuable "template" for the big tests to come after watching their Saturday clash against Crusaders when they triumphed 12-3.

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"It's a huge honour, obviously to be picked for the Lions at all is a massive honour", said O'Mahony. There were a few more avoidable penalties in the second half and they will most irk the coaching team.

"There were high pressure situations in the game that we probably could have dealt with a bit better", Warburton said.

"We're a week out from the first Test so Saturday's game against the Maori is huge for us, it's like an unofficial fourth Test match".

Lima Sopoaga opened the scoring with a penalty after four minutes and Dan Biggar followed suit ten minutes later.

Naholo was a threat from the off, when he skinned Tommy Seymour on his wing, so it was little surprise he went over for the first try, spinning through Lions' tacklers to touch down near the posts.

Pass master: Dan Biggar looks for a wide pass against the Highlanders.

Replacements: K Owens (Wales), J McGrath (Ireland), K Sinckler (England), I Henderson (Ireland), S Warburton (Wales), G Laidlaw (Scotland), O Farrell, E Daly (both England). But with the "mid-week" team now losing two matches in a row, while the "test" team defeated the much vaunted Crusaders, the Lions squad is being split very definitely along the lines of "dirt-trackers" and first-choice players.

A big day for his province, with three players wearing the red jersey in the same game for a first time since 1974, it was the 25-year-old lock who pressed the most convincing claim, putting in a performance that saw him back to his combative best.